Celia Barquin Arozmena, a 22-year-old student at Iowa State University and European golf champion was found dead on Monday with several stab wounds to the head, neck, and body. Her body was discovered at the Goldwater Golf Links in Ames, IA after police were called to investigate an unattended golf bag.
Collin Daniel Richards, a homeless man with a history of arrests for trespassing, public intoxication, and intimidation with a dangerous weapon has been charged with first degree murder in Barquin Arozamena's death. At Richard's Tuesday morning court appearance, Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds said authorities believe the crime to be "a random act of violence."
Barquin Arozamena, the 2018 Big 12 Champion and Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year, was originally from Puente San Miguel in Spain and was finishing her degree in civil engineering this semester.
"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.
Barquin Arozamena will be honored by the university at a football game on Saturday, and her golfing team has withdrawn from a scheduled tournament in Michigan to grieve.
Outpourings of grief also came from the slain athlete's native Spain, where the country's sporting minister José Guirao said Barquín had a great future ahead of her, adding, "her loss leaves us broken."
Law enforcement found Barquin Arozamena's in a pond at the Ames golf course at 11:03 a.m. on Monday. Police dogs tracked her scent to a homeless encampment where Richards had been living. The temporary residence consisted of two tents and was located across the street from the golf course. An acquaintance of the suspected killer told police that Richards had "made a statement to the effect of having an urge to rape and kill a woman."
"It's still very troubling for something like this to happen in broad daylight in a community that is as safe as Ames is," Police Commander Geoff Huff said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Iowans are still reeling from the murder of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbets, who was found dead in August.
Richards is currently in jail on $5 million bond. His preliminary hearing has been set for September 28.