Nov. 19 (UPI) — A California bartender was arrested earlier this week after a 27-year-old woman was found beaten to death with a fire extinguisher and abandoned at a construction site.
Dino Rojas-Moreno of Laguna Hills, Calif., is scheduled to be arraigned Monday. He’s being held on murder charges with special circumstances — kidnapping and use of a fire extinguisher — in the death of Tatum Goodwin. If convicted, Rojas-Moreno, 26, faces a life sentence or the death penalty for the capital murder charges.
Police said Rojas-Moreno approached Goodwin about 1 a.m. on Nov. 12 and forced her down a secluded alley behind a movie theater that was under construction. Once there, he reportedly assaulted her and beat her with the fire extinguisher. Her body was discovered that morning at a construction site under a chain link fence with a sandbag on her head. Rojas-Moreno didn’t show up to work the next day and later he said he had been jumped by several men in Santa Ana.
“The loss of an innocent life is a travesty for the entire community,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “It is heartbreaking that a young woman with her entire future ahead of her had her life ended in such a brutal way and then discarded like her life never matter. She mattered, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office is committed to ensuring justice is served.”
Shortly after learning about her death, Goodwin’s friends set up a GoFundMe site to pay for a service and a memorial in Laguna Beach “so everyone in town never forgets about our sweet friend Tatum.”
Marcos Salim Heredia, owner and operator of Carmelita’s restaurant in Laguna Beach, said Goodwin was an assistant manager for four years.
“Tatum was a very hard working young lady and always kept a smile on her face. Over the years, she had expressed her pleasure to be in Laguna and have her opportunity with us,” he said. We felt that we really had a family member here with us.