(As originally published, Mon, November 20th 2023, 6:35 PM EST)
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (TND) — A man in southern California is charged with special circumstances murder after a woman was found beaten to death and her body left at a construction site.
Those special circumstances mean Dino Rojas-Moreno, 26, would be eligible for the death penalty if he’s convicted.
He’s accused of approaching 27-year-old Tatum Goodwin at around 1 a.m. last Sunday, Nov. 12, in a parking lot in Laguna Beach, Orange County.
The district attorney’s office said it believes Rojas-Moreno assaulted Goodwin near her car,
“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.”
A construction worker found her body about seven hours later, under a chain link fence, “and a sandbag had been placed on her head.”
Then, Rojas-Moreno, a bartender, didn’t show up at work that day. He claimed he’d been jumped by several men.
Laguna Beach detectives said they got enough information and evidence at the scene to identify Rojas-Moreno as a suspect, and they arrested him three days later with help from other police departments.
Now, investigators are looking into whether the two knew each other.
Rojas-Moreno is charged with murder, the special circumstances of committing murder during a kidnapping, and the enhancement of using a weapon, the fire extinguisher.
He’s being held without bail.