Drifter Charged in Stabbing Death of Champ Golfer in Iowa
Collin Daniel Richards, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University.
He was ordered jailed Tuesday on a $5 million, cash-only bond.
Barquin was found Monday morning at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 30 miles north of Des Moines. Police were called to the course around 10:20 a.m. to investigate a possible missing female after golfers found a golf bag with no one around it.
Officers found Barquin’s body some distance from the bag, with several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday.
“It’s still very troubling for something like this to happen in broad daylight in a community that is as safe as Ames is,” Ames police Cmdr. Geoff Huff said at a news conference Tuesday.
The Second Fatal Stabbing
It is the second fatal stabbing of a female student in Iowa in recent months. An immigrant from Mexico is charged in the July 18 kidnapping and stabbing of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, who vanished while out for a run in the small town of Brooklyn.
Richards, who faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted, reported in a financial affidavit that he has no job. Paul Rounds, a public defender assigned to represent him, filed paperwork asserting his right to not speak to investigators. Rounds declined comment.
A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a homeless encampment along a creek near the golf course, where Richards had been living in a tent, the complaint said. Officers found Richards with several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and a deep laceration in his left hand that he tried to conceal, it said.
An acquaintance of Richards told investigators that the suspect had said in recent days that he had “an urge to rape and kill a woman,” the complaint said. A second acquaintance told police that Richards arrived at his home on Monday appearing “disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water.” He bathed and left with his clothes in a backpack.
Investigators later recovered two pairs of shorts with blood stains and a knife that Richards allegedly gave to two other people after the slaying, the complaint said. Those two individuals were driving Richards out of town after the slaying, but he asked them to drop him off near the camp so he could get his tent. Officers later encountered and arrested him.
Iowa State University’s Statement
The university said Barquin, a native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was finishing her civil engineering degree this semester after exhausting her eligibility at Iowa State in 2017-2018. Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement on Twitter that she was “deeply saddened” by Barquin’s death:
Our hearts are broken. President Wintersteen: “We were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Celia Barquin Arozamena…dedicated civil engineering student…talented student athlete and an acclaimed golfer with a bright future…a terrible, tragic, senseless loss.” https://t.co/QdkEd8U83N
— IowaStateUNews (@IowaStateUNews) September 18, 2018
She was one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history. In April, she became the second women’s golfer at Iowa State to earn medalist honors at a conference tournament when claiming the 2018 Big 12 Championship. She did it with a three-shot victory.
She was the third Cyclone women’s golfer to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship, the university said. The 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.
Head women’s golf coach Christie Martens said in a release that Barquin was a well-loved “outstanding representative of our school.”
“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life,” Martens said.