A 26-year-old bartender, Dino Rojas-Moreno from Laguna Hills, California, has been arrested and charged with the murder of 27-year-old Tatum Goodwin.
Goodwin’s lifeless body was discovered at a construction site on Sunday at approximately 8:20 a.m.
The gruesome scene revealed that she had been fatally beaten with a fire extinguisher, her head covered by a sandbag.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office released a statement on Friday detailing the events leading to the tragic incident. Rojas-Moreno allegedly assaulted Goodwin around 1 a.m. in a nearby parking lot, close to her parked car.
He forcibly moved her to the rear of the parking lot, through a short alley, and to a secluded area behind a construction site for a movie theater. There, he is accused of brutally beating her to death with a fire extinguisher. The lifeless body was discovered several hours later under a chain-link fence on the construction site.
The relationship between Goodwin and Rojas-Moreno remains unclear. The suspect, who had claimed to be attacked by several men in Santa Ana, failed to show up for work on the day of the murder.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer expressed the community’s sorrow over the loss of an innocent life, emphasizing the commitment to ensuring justice for Goodwin.
Rojas-Moreno faces charges of one felony count of murder, with additional felony enhancements for committing the murder during a kidnapping and for the personal use of a weapon, the fire extinguisher.
He is currently held in custody without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on Monday.
The ongoing investigation may lead to the death penalty if Rojas-Moreno is convicted.