A tight-knit Orange County community is in shock after the body of a 27-year-old woman was found dead in an alley behind an old movie theater and a restaurant Sunday.
Officers with Laguna Beach Police Department responded after a construction worker discovered the body of Tatum Goodwin “down in a secluded location” at around 8:20 a.m. near the 200 block of Ocean Avenue, a news release from the LBPD stated.
Police added that her body showed trauma consistent with a homicide.
“She was just such a loving, honest person,” a friend of the 27-year-old, Aleena Macintosh, told KTLA’s Mary Beth McDade. “You just wouldn’t think that anything would happen to her.”
Others who knew her say they are still in disbelief that the young, attractive member of their community was found under these tragic circumstances.
“Everyone knew her as just a kind girl that was around, kind of a face of the community, not from here, lived in San Clemente,” Nicolas Alonge, another friend, said. “She worked at Carmelita’s.”
The owner of Carmelita’s, Marcos Heredia, said Goodwin was a valued member of his team for more than four years, working as an assistant manager.
“She definitely did not deserve this, just a beautiful person,” he said. “It’s affected not only me. It’s affected so much of our team.”
Heredia said the 27-year-old’s badly beaten body was found in the alley behind his restaurant.
“For me, it wasn’t just losing a friend. It’s clearly almost losing a family member,” he said. “I knew that she always had my back and I always had her back also when she needed things.”
Her friends told KTLA that after work on Saturday, Goodwin went to nearby Hennessey’s Tavern. The tavern has since posted to social media, asking anyone with any pictures or videos of her that night to please come forward.
In the meantime, Heredia has organized a GoFundMe campaign to help her family with funeral costs and to create a mural of Goodwin.
“I’m trying to gather some funds so we can get a mural made of her back in the area where her tragedy happened, so that no one in this city will ever forget about Tatum,” he said.