Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 26-year-old bartender has been charged with special circumstances murder for beating a 27-year-old woman to death with a fire extinguisher and leaving her body with a sandbag covering her head in a nearby construction site.

Dino Rojas-Moreno, 26, of Laguna Hills, has been charged with one felony count of murder, one felony enhancement of special circumstances of committing the murder in the commission of a kidnapping, and one felony enhancement for the personal use of a weapon, a fire extinguisher.

Rojas-Moreno is eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

On November 12, 2023, at about 8:20 am, the body of 27-year-old Tatum Goodwin was discovered by a construction worker at a construction site in the 100 block of S. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. Her body was under a chain link fence on a construction site and a sandbag had been placed on her head.

Rojas-Moreno is accused of approaching Goodwin in a nearby parking lot around 1 a.m. that morning and assaulting her near her parked car. Rojas-Moreno then forcefully dragged her to the rear of the parking lot, down a short alley, and to a secluded area behind a movie theatre that was under construction. Rojas-Moreno is then accused of beating Goodwin to death with a fire extinguisher. Goodwin was found several hours later.

It is unclear whether Goodwin had any prior relationship with Rojas-Moreno. Rojas-Moreno failed to show up to work the day of the murder after claiming he had been jumped by several men in Santa Ana.

Rojas-Moreno is currently being held without bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at on November 20, 2023 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana in Department C5.

“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.”

Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Moore of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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