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College Golf Star from Spain Killed in Iowa


A course closed sign sits in front of the Coldwater Golf Links course, Sept. 18, 2018, in Ames, Iowa, after the body of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena, a top amateur golfer from Spain, was found on the course the day before.

A man believed to be homeless has been charged in the death of a college golf star who was attacked while playing on a course near Iowa State University in Ames Monday morning, police said Tuesday.

Collin Daniel Richards, 22, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the case. Ames police said Richards has no known address and appeared to be staying in an encampment in woods near the golf course.

On Monday, Celia Barquin Arozamena of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was stabbed in the head, neck and upper torso, and her body left in a pond, according to police. Officers were called to the Coldwater Golf Course after a golf bag was found on the course, but no golfer was nearby. Her body was found a distance away, and police said she "had been assaulted and died as a result."

Richards, who investigators said had a history of drug use and violence, was living in a homeless camp and had recently told an acquaintance he wanted to “rape and kill a woman,” according a police report.

Celia Barquin Arozamena hits on to the ninth green during the first round of the U.S. Women's Open Championship golf tournament at Shoal Creek, May 31, 2018.
Celia Barquin Arozamena hits on to the ninth green during the first round of the U.S. Women's Open Championship golf tournament at Shoal Creek, May 31, 2018.

Arozamema, 22, was working toward joining the pro tour while finishing her degree. Earlier this year, she won an amateur tournament in Europe and and had competed in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship in Alabama. She was also a 2018 Big 12 champion and her college’s Female Athlete of the Year.

Her death was a shock to Ames, a small college town of 66,000.

"Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality, and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed," Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said in a post on the university's sports website. "Our Cyclone family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador."

A judge ordered Richards jailed on a $5 million, cash-only bond during a court appearance Tuesday. If convicted, he will face a mandatory life sentence.

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