Tatum Goodwin was a 27-year-old California restaurant worker who was murdered after a night out in Laguna Beach on November 12, 2023.
Dino Rojas-Moreno, a bartender, is now accused of Goodwin’s murder. Prosecutors say he assaulted her at her car and then beat her to death with a fire extinguisher. It’s not clear whether they knew each other or what the motive was for the slaying.
One of her sisters, Lacey Pitino, wrote on Facebook, “I am saddened to say that Saturday night my sister Tatum Goodwin was murdered in Laguna Beach. She was beloved by her family, friends, and all who knew her. I have no words to explain how devastated myself and my family are at this time. I appreciate all the love from the community.”
According to a news release from the Laguna Beach Police Department, on Sunday, November 12, at approximately 8:20 a.m., a construction worker “discovered a person down in a secluded location near the 200 block of Ocean Avenue. Laguna Beach police and fire personnel responded to the location and found a deceased adult female, possibly in her mid to late 20s.”
Laguna Beach detectives “responded and found the scene to be suspicious. Detectives are investigating the incident as a homicide. Positive identification of the adult female and cause of death will be completed by the Orange County Coroner’s Division,” the release says.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tatum Goodwin’s ‘Badly Beaten’ Body Was Found Behind a Restaurant Alley
According to KTLA, Goodwin, 27, “was found dead in an alley behind an old movie theater and a restaurant.”
Her boss at a restaurant told KTLA that Goodwin’s “badly beaten body was found in the alley behind his restaurant.”
Her friends told KTLA that she went to work Saturday and then to Hennessey’s Tavern. She was from San Clemente, California, according to the Orange County Register.
Tatum was not just a guest to us, she was family. We want to thank everyone for all the information & support given. We are so thankful for the diligent team of LBPD, detectives, crime lab, rangers, FBI, and OC sheriffs department. Please continue to share any & all information, the little things can help. This horrific event has left us heartbroken, and we hope to have justice for her sweet soul soon. Thank you again to everyone for your help, her family, & close friends are immensely grateful for all the help. Please stay safe🏼 If you can please donate to the gofundme set up for Tatum that is linked in our bio, anything helps❤️
“We are saddened by this senseless act of violence. Our detectives are working diligently to bring the suspect(s) to justice,” said Chief Jeff Calvert.
“Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call Laguna Beach Detective Tanner Flagstad at (949) 497-0369 or via email at email@example.com,” police wrote.
“Those with information may also contact authorities anonymously through Orange County Crime Stoppers by dialing 1-855-TIP-OCCS or by installing the ‘P3 Tips’ mobile application on Google Play or the iOS App Store or by using the website http://occrimestoppers.org.”
2. Tatum Goodwin’s Sister Says She Was ‘Taken From This World by Someone Evil’
Kaylee Godwin, Tatum’s sister, wrote on Facebook that, on Sunday November 12, 2023, “I lost my Sister Tatum Goodwin, she was taken from this world by someone evil. And I will never feel or be okay. My world is shattered. My family is shattered. I’m grieving and it’s so hard to see life after this. Please pray for my family during this time.”
She shared a Paypal link for donations to a memorial fund for Goodwin.
“Anyone with information about the incidcent is urged to contact LBPD Det. Tanner Flagstad at 949-497-0369 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org,” she wrote. “Anonymous tips can be made through O.C. Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS or online at O.C. Crime Stoppers.”
The site Under Laguna reported that Goodwin “worked at Carmelita’s and was seen with her friends at Hennessey’s and the Marine Room that night. Allegedly, she also recently broke up with her boyfriend.”
According to that site, “One report said she left Marine Room very late, upset. A downtown resident allegedly heard screaming about 2 a.m.”
3. A Friend of Tatum Goodwin’s Called Her the ‘Light of My Life, the Person Who Brought Me Peace’
Madison Moyer wrote on Facebook, “My soulmate, best friend, other half, the light of my life, the person who brought me peace when I couldn’t find it myself was brutally and viciously taken from me Saturday night.”
Moyer implored people to “Please share this and ANYONE I MEAN ANYONE who has any information on this crime I am BEGGING you to reach out to me or police. I will never be 100% happy again after this but I want myself and her family to have some sort of peace in catching this monster. I will also be posting a go fund me on my page to help with her funeral costs, any and all donations would be appreciated.”
She shared a GoFundMe page in Goodwin’s memory.
4. Tatum Goodwin’s Boss at a Local Restaurant Described Her as a ‘Very Hard-Working Young Lady’ Who ‘Always Kept a Smile on Her Face’
The GoFundMe page was created by Goodwin’s manager.
“Hi, my name is Marcos Salim Heredia, I am the owner and operator of Carmelita’s Restaurants. I have had the great pleasure to have Tatum as our assistant manager, friend, and family member in our business for 4 years,” he wrote.
“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. We felt that we really had a family member here with us. I am seeking help to make a memorial in the city of Laguna Beach for our team and family member.”
We are still in disbelief and we dont want her to go unforgotten. We are attempting to raise capital for her Memorial Services and also help with creating a memorial in the city, so everyone in town never forgets about our sweet friend Tatum. Please help us honor Tatum, she was found lifeless in Laguna Beach and we are being told at the moment, that this is a ongoing homicide investigation. We are going to do our best to make sure we help the city in anyway to help the police with their work and investigations. We truly need your help to give Tatum the memorial she very much deserves.
A person who contributed wrote, “Tatum was my coworker and a dear friend of mine. We shared many heart to heart moments and could talk to each other about anything and everything. She was such a beautiful person and did not deserve this. My condolence to all of Tatum’s friends and family.”
5. Tatum Goodwin Showcased an Active Life on Instagram, Posting Pictures With Her Dog & Friends
Goodwin’s Facebook page contained a picture of a rose, a sandwich, a boy fishing and not much else.
On Instagram, she mostly shared photos with her dog and friends.
“Sunday funday • with my baby Brody 🐾❤😊 #rottie,” she wrote of one picture with her dog.