true crime

Celia Barquin Arozamena was a rising golf star. Then she was found murdered on a golf course.


Celia Barquin Arozamena was a promising golf star.

The Iowa State University student was named the 2018 Big 12 Champion and Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year.

Golfweek had ranked the 22-year-old No.69 nationally.

On Monday morning, Arozamena’s broken and beaten body was found on the Coldwater Links golf course in Ames, about 50 kilometres north of Des Moines.

According to the New York Post, early morning golfers discovered a gym bag on the course with no one around it.

At around 10.20am, the police were called to the golf course to investigate a possible missing female.

Officers then located Arozamena’s body “some distance away” from the bag.

According to ABC News, she had several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck.

A man hunt for the university student’s killer commenced immediately.

A police dog tracked Arozamena’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course. There, they found a homeless man named Collin Daniel Richards.

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Richards. Image: Story County Jail.

According to the criminal complaint lodged against Richards, the 22-year-old had several fresh scratches on his face and a deep laceration on his left hand.

One of his acquaintances told police Richards had spoken about having "an urge to rape and kill a woman", while they were walking along the golf course several days prior to the murder.

As ABC News reports, another acquaintance witnessed Richards returning home on Monday morning, "dishevelled and covered in blood, sand and water".

He later bathed and left with his clothes in a backpack.

Investigators discovered two pairs of shorts with blood stains and a knife which Richards had allegedly given to two other people after the murder.

It's alleged Richards was trying to leave town with those two individuals in a car. He asked them to stop by the camp so he could get his tent and that's when the police arrested him.

On Tuesday, the Iowa State University team announced they were pulling out of the East & West Match Play in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to spend time grieving for their friend.

According to the New York Post, Iowa State president Wendy Wintersteen said she was "deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death" of the "dedicated civil engineering student" and "acclaimed golfer with a bright future".

Christie Martens, the young golfer's coach, said Arozamena was "loved by all her teammates and friends".

“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life,” she said.

A preliminary hearing for Richards is set for September 28. If convicted, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.