On November 12, 2023, Tatum Lee Goodwin, a 27-year-old assistant manager at Carmelita’s Restaurant in Laguna Beach, California, was found dead in an alleyway behind a popular movie theater. The scene, characterized by clear indications of violence, initiated a thorough homicide investigation by local authorities.
The badly beaten body of Goodwin was discovered by a construction worker around 8:20 a.m. near the 200 block of Ocean Avenue. Laguna Beach detectives, suspecting foul play, started an immediate probe into the circumstances surrounding her death.
Goodwin had spent the previous night socializing at Hennessey’s Tavern and the Marine Room, both located near the discovery site of her body. She had finished her shift at Carmelita’s Restaurant before her night out. Notably, Goodwin had recently concluded a romantic relationship and was seen leaving the Marine Room late at night, seemingly distressed. A local resident mentioned hearing screams in the vicinity around 2 a.m.
Further details emerged as it was found that Goodwin’s phone was active after her death, connecting to nearby cell towers. This information has led investigators to focus on areas around the Marine Room, where Goodwin was last seen.
In response to this tragedy, the owner of Carmelita’s Restaurant has established a GoFundMe page to support those affected by Goodwin’s death.
The Laguna Beach Police Department, led by Detective Tanner Flagstad, is actively seeking information from the public to aid their investigation.