A 22-year-old man was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the death of European Ladies’ Amateur champion Celia Barquin Arozamena.
Barquin Arozamena, 22, was found dead Monday at a golf course in Ames, Iowa. Her body had several stab wounds to the head, neck and upper torso, according to police.
Collin Daniel Richards was charged in her death and made his initial appearance at Story County Courthouse in Nevada, Iowa, on Tuesday. Bond was set at $5 million.
During the court appearance, Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds said the crime was “a random act of violence”.
Barquin Arozamena completed her Iowa State college career in the spring. The Big 12 champion and Iowa State’s female athlete of the year was attacked while golfing at Coldwater Golf Course on Monday morning.
Other golfers had noticed a lone golf bag with nobody around it and police were called. Officers found Barquin Arozamena’s body in a pond near the ninth hole.
A short time later, officers encountered Richards in a homeless camp near the course after a police dog tracked Barquin Arozamena’s scent to the area.
Richards had fresh cuts and scratches consistent with fighting and also tried to conceal his left hand from officers, according to an Ames police criminal complaint.
One of the people police spoke to said Richards showed up at his home on Monday appearing “disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water”. He said Richards used the shower and left with his clothes in a backpack.
Barquin Arozamena, a native of Spain, recently became the third women’s golfer in Iowa State history to play in the U.S. Women’s Open. She shot rounds of 76 and 75 for a 7-over 151 at Shoal Creek and missed the cut by three strokes.
The campus community was devastated by the tragic death of Barquin Arozamena, who was a three-time first-team All-Big 12 academic selection, in addition to her golfing accomplishments.
“This is a tragic and senseless loss of a talented young woman and an acclaimed student athlete,” Iowa State University president Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement.
“We mourn with her family and friends in Spain, her teammates here and all who knew her. On behalf of the entire Cyclone family, I extend our deep condolences to Celia’s family and her many friends and teammates at Iowa State. We are deeply saddened.”
Women’s golf coach Christie Martens also paid tribute.
“We are all devastated,” Martens said in a statement. “Celia was a beautiful person who was loved by all her teammates and friends. She loved Iowa State and was an outstanding representative for our school. We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life.”
Barquin Arozamena also had earned an invitation to the 2019 Women’s British Open because of her victory at the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship in July.