Grim details emerge as murder suspect is charged in death of woman, 27, found in Laguna Beach alley

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Saturday, November 18, 2023
Grim details emerge in killing of woman found in Laguna Beach alley
A man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a 27-year-old woman whose body was found in an alley in Laguna Beach, prosecutors said.

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a 27-year-old woman whose body was found in Laguna Beach, and the criminal complaint against him revealed grim new details in the case.

Dino Rojas-Moreno, 26, was charged Friday with special circumstances murder during a kidnapping with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. The weapon was a fire extinguisher, the criminal complaint alleges.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court, Rojas-Moreno is accused of using a fire extinguisher as a weapon in her killing, which he allegedly committed "in the commission and attempted commission of the crime of kidnapping."

RELATED: Man arrested for murder in death of 27-year-old woman in Laguna Beach

A man was arrested on suspicion of murder in the death of a 27-year-old woman in Laguna Beach, police said.

The defendant made his first appearance Friday in court in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana when his arraignment was rescheduled for Monday.

Goodwin, a San Clemente resident, was found dead by a construction worker Sunday morning in a secluded area behind the restaurant where she worked, authorities said. Whether she and the suspect knew each other remains unclear.

Rojas-Moreno, who is a bartender, allegedly approached the victim in a parking lot near the crime scene about 1 a.m., according to prosecutors. The two worked in the same area, but it was unclear if the defendant was working that evening.

When her body was found, a sandbag had been placed over her head, prosecutors said. Investigators suspect he dragged the victim to the rear of the parking lot and down an alley behind a movie theater that is under construction, where he allegedly beat her to death with the fire extinguisher, prosecutors said.

RELATED: 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.

Rojas-Moreno was taken into custody by members of three local police agencies Wednesday in Laguna Hills. Rojas-Moreno is being held without bail.

"Detectives determined this was an isolated incident and there is no further threat to the community," police said in a statement.

City News Service contributed to this report.