(LAGUNA HILLS, Calif.) — A bartender has been charged with the murder of a 27-year-old woman after she was found beaten to death with a fire extinguisher and her body was left on a construction site with a sandbag covering her head, police said.
The suspect, Dino Rojas-Moreno, a 26-year-old bartender from Laguna Hills, California, was arrested after the body of 27-year-old Tatum Goodwin was discovered on Sunday at about 8:20 a.m. by a worker at a construction site in the 100 block of S. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.
Goodwin’s body was under a chain link fence on a construction site and a sandbag had been placed on her head at the time of the discovery, according to a statement released on Friday by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
“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,” the district attorney’s statement read. “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 currently unclear whether Goodwin had any prior relationship with Rojas-Moreno but the suspect failed to show up to work the day of the murder after claiming he had been jumped by several men in Santa Ana, authorities said.
“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.”
Rojas-Moreno has since 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, according to the district attorney’s office.
Rojas-Moreno is currently being held in custody without bail and he is scheduled to be arraigned at on Monday at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
The investigation into the murder is still ongoing but, if convicted, Rojas-Moreno is eligible for the death penalty.
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