LAGUNA BEACH, CA – A former bartender from California is facing murder charges following allegations that he brutally killed a 27-year-old woman using a fire extinguisher, before discarding her body in an alleyway in Laguna Beach, prosecutors in Orange County have revealed.
The victim, Tatum Goodwin, was an employee at a local restaurant where the suspect, 26-year-old Dino Rojas-Moreno, also worked. The tragic incident has left the community in shock, with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office pledging to ensure justice is served for Goodwin.
Rojas-Moreno was arrested by the Laguna Beach Police Department last week in relation to the homicide that took place on Nov. 12. The charges he faces include felony enhancements for committing the murder during a kidnapping and for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Rojas-Moreno is alleged to have assaulted Goodwin in a parking lot near her car around 1 a.m. on Nov. 12. He then reportedly dragged her to a secluded area behind a construction site where he beat her to death with the fire extinguisher. Her body was later found under a chain-link fence with a sandbag covering her head.
The nature of the relationship between Goodwin and Rojas-Moreno remains unclear. On the morning of the murder, a construction worker discovered Goodwin’s body and alerted the police, who then initiated a homicide investigation. Rojas-Moreno failed to show up for work that day, claiming he had been attacked by several men.
Goodwin is remembered by her family and colleagues as a loving dog owner, a devoted daughter, and a hardworking individual who always had a smile on her face. The owner of the restaurant where she worked has expressed plans to create a memorial in her honor.
Rojas-Moreno is currently being held on a $1 million bail and is scheduled for arraignment in Orange County. Authorities are urging anyone with information about the incident to come forward.