Tatum Goodwin: Restaurant Worker Found Murdered in Car Park Behind Movie Theatre in Laguna Beach after Night Out

The Laguna Beach Police Department stated that Tatum Goodwin's body showed signs of trauma consistent with a homicide.

Police in Southern California are actively searching for a suspect who killed a young woman and dumped her body in an alley behind an old movie theater and the restaurant where she was employed. Tatum Goodwin, 27, was having a night out with friends at a popular California resort, and the group had moved to Hennessey's Tavern on Ocean Avenue.

Around 2 am, a local resident reportedly heard screaming. Just over six hours later, a construction worker discovered Tatum Goodwin's body in a car park around the corner, located behind an old movie theatre and the branch of Carmelita's where she had been employed for four years, according to police.

Grisly Murder

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The Laguna Beach Police Department stated that Tatum Goodwin's body showed signs of trauma consistent with a homicide. Detectives deemed the scene suspicious and launched an investigation into her death as a homicide.

"We are saddened by this senseless act of violence. Our detectives are working diligently to bring the suspect(s) to justice," Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert said.

The Orange County Coroner's Division will be determining Goodwin's cause of death.

Tatum Goodwin, originally from San Clemente, had been employed as an assistant manager at Carmelita's restaurant in Laguna Beach for over four years.

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"She definitely did not deserve this, just a beautiful person," Carmelita's owner Marcos Heredia told the news station KTLA. "It's affected not only me. It's affected so much of our team."

Goodwin had recently ended her relationship with her boyfriend, and she seemed "upset" when she left from the bar in the early hours, as reported by the local website underlaguna.com.

Mysterious Death

After finishing her shift at work, Goodwin went to Hennessey's and is believed to have also visited the Marine Bar on the opposite side of the street at some point during the evening.

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Tatum Goodwin Instagram

"She was just such a loving, honest person,' said her friend Aleena Macintosh. You just wouldn't think that anything would happen to her.'

"I can't even think right now. To think this happened right across the street from my work and to someone we all loved so dearly.

"This world is to cruel to those who don't deserve it."

Heredia has set up a GoFundMe appeal to assist in covering funeral costs and to create a memorial for Tatum Goodwin, the young woman from San Clemente whose life was tragically cut short.

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"She was a very hard working young lady and always kept a smile on her face,' he wrote on her page. '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 don't 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 an ongoing homicide investigation.

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"We are going to do our best to make sure we help the city in any way to help the police with their work and investigations.

"We truly need your help to give Tatum the memorial she very much deserves."

Authorities are actively working to locate Tatum's phone, which is emitting signals in the vicinity of the bar.