A 22-year-old homeless man was charged with first-degree murder of Iowa State Golfer Celia Barquín Arozamena.

Iowa State Golfer Murdered

Barquín Arozamena was the 2018 Big 12 champion and the school’s female athlete of the year. With a victory at the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship, she’d locked up a spot at next year’s Women’s British Open and the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open. At 22, she was also a member of the Spanish National Team that had placed third and second in 2015 and 2016 in the European Amateur Team Championships.

On Monday, she was found dead in a pond near the 9th hole at Coldwater Golf Course in Ames, Iowa. Ames police said she had “several stab wounds to the upper torso, head, and neck,” in a criminal complaint.

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A police dog led them to Collin Daniel Richards, who was found with fresh scratches on his face and a cut on his hand that he tried to hide from the police, according to the complaint. It also said investigators found his knife and bloody clothes. The complaint further detailed that one acquaintance identified as D.B. told police that Richards said recently he had “an urge to rape and kill women.” Another told police they had seen him earlier that day “disheveled and covered in blood, sand, and water.”

Today at a hearing, a state prosecutor alleged that the murder was a “random act of violence,” according to Whotv. Richards is currently being held on $5 million bail. The case continues with its next hearing set for September 28. Richards faces life in prison if convicted.

Criminal records show that Richards had been charged with at least a dozen crimes since 2014 and had completed a seven-month sentence in June.

Jefferson, Iowa police chief Mark Clouse told ESPN that Richards had lived with his grandparents in Jefferson a few years ago. “They’d get involved in arguments, and we’d get called to go there,” he said. He also added that they were called at least three times, once about Richards putting a woman in what he called a “secure headlock” and dragging her outside. She told police that her airway had been cut off and they observed scrapes and cuts on the woman and redness around her neck and chest. Richards was charged with domestic abuse, to which he pleaded guilty. The following year, he was charged with a misdemeanor for carrying a knife longer than five inches.

Despite this Clouse said his officers’ interactions with Richards were “nothing that stood out as someone capable of what happened.” Clouse also said Richards had several run-ins with other local law enforcement agencies relating to probation violations, drug possession and theft.


Richards stated that he had no job in a financial affidavit. Paul Rounds, his court-assigned public defender, filed paperwork stating his client didn’t wish to speak to investigators.

Iowa State mourned the death of Barquín Arozamena, who was from Puente San Miguel, Spain. She was finishing up a civil engineering degree and had just wrapped up a stellar student golfing career, according to the school. Jamie Pollard, the university’s athletics director, said she would be awarded her degree posthumously.

“This is a tragic and senseless loss of a talented young woman and an acclaimed student-athlete,” Iowa State University president Dr. Wendy Wintersteen said in a prepared statement.

Andres Barquín, Barquín Arozamena’s brother, said the family was “trying to put ourselves together.” The town held a moment of silence to honor her and flags flew at half-staff.

Funeral arrangements are pending for Barquín Arozamena. She’ll be honored at Iowa State’s home football game Sunday.

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