Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Family of Murdered Champion Golfer Speaks Out

Family of Murdered Champion Golfer Speaks Out

The body of Celia Barquín Arozamena, 22, was found Monday in a pond "some distance" from an unattended golf bag at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, police said. Golf course staff found her body with stab wounds to the upper torso, head, and neck.

A man, Collin Daniel Richards, was taken into custody, held on $5 million bond, and has been charged with first-degree murder.

The 22-year-old was the reigning Big 12 champion and Iowa State's Female Athlete of the Year for 2018.

Iowa State University said Barquin Arozamena was finishing a civil engineering degree.

As news of the tragedy was disseminated, many people and organizations began to send their tributes to the slain golfer. Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement on Twitter that she was "deeply saddened" by Barquin's death.

The university had planned to honor Barquin at its football game Saturday for being its female athlete of the year - news that had brought Barquin to tears, according to athletic director Jamie Pollard. The police described him as homeless.

That man told investigators Richards had said recently he had "an urge to rape and kill a woman" while they were walking near the course, the complaint said. Other golfers found a bag with clubs but no one was around to claim it, so they called the police.

The Ames police had encounters with him in the past.

Swedish golfing great Annika Sorenstam called the murder "horrendous", as she posted a picture of herself alongside Barquin after she won the 2018 European Ladies' Amateur Championship in Slovakia in July.

Flags in the small town were also flying at half-staff. He bathed and left with his clothes in a backpack. A second acquaintance told police that Richards arrived at his nearby home Monday "disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water". She's really special to me. Paul Rounds, a public defender assigned to represent him, filed paperwork asserting his right to not speak to investigators.

Officers reportedly recovered a knife and two pairs of bloody shorts, according to CBS.

She was the third Cyclone women's golfer to compete in the U.S. Women's Open Championship, the university said.

Her former team announced Tuesday it was pulling out of the East & West Match Play in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to be with friends and family and to grieve their loss.

"We are all devastated", Iowa State head women's golf coach Christie Martens added.

Court records show that since 2014, Richards had been charged with abusing a former girlfriend, stealing a pickup truck after wrecking his own vehicle, using a baseball bat to smash a auto window and burglarizing a gas station.

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