Body of 27-year-old woman found in Laguna Beach; homicide investigation underway

Jessica De Nova Image
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Woman, 27, found dead in alley near OC restaurant where she worked
The body of a 27-year-old woman was found in an alley near the Laguna Beach restaurant where she worked, according to friends.

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A homicide investigation is underway in Laguna Beach after the body of a young San Clemente woman was found in a secluded location over the weekend.

The woman was identified as 27-year-old Tatum Lee Goodwin. Her body was found by a construction worker on Ocean Avenue, near Coast Highway, on Sunday morning, according to city officials.

Goodwin's manager says she was found steps away from where her car was parked, behind Carmelita's Restaurant, where she worked as an assistant manager.

No one ever disliked that girl. Everyone had their arms around her
Marcos Heredia, owner of Carmelita

"No one ever disliked that girl. Everyone had their arms around her," Carmelita's owner Marcos Heredia said. "She was one of those people that when she was in the room, you knew she was in the room."

Friends say they took Goodwin's keys Saturday night after she had gone out for drinks at Hennessey's Tavern and the Marine Room Tavern. She had finished her shift at Carmelita's prior to that.

The next morning, her body was found in an alley in a construction zone behind Carmelita's.

Michael Gaspar, a manager of a restaurant nearby, says news of Goodwin's death calls for more employee protection.

Gaspar told Eyewitness News that he noticed one man that Saturday night being verbally aggressive to others in the parking lot where Goodwin parked her car.

Details about the condition in which she was found have not been released, but authorities said the scene was suspicious, according to a press release from the city.

Anyone with information is urged to contact detectives at (949) 497-0369. A GoFundMe page was created by the owner of Carmelita's Restaurants in honor of Goodwin to help pay for her memorial service and to also create a memorial in the city of Laguna Beach. To donate, click here.