A 22-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena, the 2018 Big 12 champion and the school's female athlete of the year.
Barquin Arozamena, 22, was found dead Monday at a golf course in Ames, Iowa. Ames police on Monday night announced that Collin Daniel Richards has been charged following an investigation by several law enforcement agencies. Richards made his initial appearance at the Story County Courthouse in Nevada, Iowa, at 9 a.m. Tuesday; bond was set at $5 million during a brief hearing.
Officers were called to Coldwater Golf Course on Monday morning after golfers had located a golf bag with no one around it. Officers located Barquin Arozamena's body in a pond near the ninth hole of the course and determined she had been assaulted. Barquin Arozamena suffered "several stab wounds to the upper torso, head and neck," Ames police said in a criminal complaint.
At the appearance, Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds said the crime is believed to be "a random act of violence."
During a news conference Tuesday, Ames Police public information officer Geoff Huff said there are no other suspects at this time, but the investigation is ongoing.
Huff said Richards has no known address but appeared to be staying in a tent in a wooded area adjacent to the golf course. A police dog tracked Barquin Arozamena's scent to the temporary camp.
An acquaintance of Richards told investigators the suspect had said in recent days that he had "an urge to rape and kill a woman" while they were walking on a trail near the course, 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, and that's when officers arrested him, 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, according to the complaint.
A native of Spain, Barquin Arozamena won the Big 12 championship by 3 strokes in April. She was a three-time all-conference selection, earned first-team All-Big 12 academic honors three times and qualified for NCAA regionals in all four years she competed. She became the third Cyclones women's golfer to compete in the U.S. Women's Open Championship, the university said.
"We are all devastated," Iowa State women's golf coach Christie Martens said in a prepared 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."
Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said Barquin had "broke down in tears" when she found out she had been named the school's 2018 female athlete of the year -- an achievement she had been set to be honored for during Saturday's football game. Instead, the team will wear helmet decals with Barquin's initials to honor her.
Professional golfer Sergio Garcia tweeted about the death of the fellow Spaniard.
Heartbroken over what happened to #CeliaBarquinArozamena I had the pleasure of meeting her and I know she was a special person. Sending my thoughts and prayers to her family and loved ones in this difficult time— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) September 18, 2018
Richards was known to the police department. He had completed a seven-month prison sentence in June.
"We have had encounters with him in the past," Huff said.
Jefferson (Iowa) Police Chief Mark Clouse told ESPN that a few years ago, Richards had been staying at his grandparents' home in Jefferson, working on remodeling the residence. Clouse said his officers were called to the address at least three times for reports of domestic disputes involving Richards and his girlfriend or his grandfather.
One of those calls, in May 2015, resulted in an arrest on charges of domestic abuse, to which Richards pleaded guilty. According to the police report, Richards, who was 18 at the time, told police that he and his girlfriend had been cooking supper when the woman started acting "weird" and he asked her to leave. They began arguing and Richards started to gather her belongings and take them outside, the report stated. He told police that when she tried to stop him and yelled at him, he put her "in a 'secured headlock' and drug her outside."
She told police that Richards cut off her airway. The officer observed scrapes and cuts on the woman's left arm and a finger, and redness around her neck and chest.
"They'd get involved in arguments, and we'd get called to go there," Clouse said.
However, he said his officers' interactions with Richards were "nothing that stood out as someone capable of what happened," regarding the charges he is facing now. Clouse said Richards also had several run-ins with other local law enforcement agencies relating to probation violations, drug possession and theft.
Richards, who faces 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 that his client didn't wish to speak to investigators.
Barquin Arozamena finished her golf eligibility this spring but remained in school to complete her civil engineering degree in the fall semester.
"This is a tragic and senseless loss of a talented young woman and an acclaimed student athlete," Iowa State University president Dr. Wendy Wintersteen said in a prepared 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."
Barquin Arozamena's victory at the European Ladies' Amateur Championship had secured her invitations to next year's Women's British Open and the 2018 U.S. Women's Open.
She was also a member of the Spanish national team that finished third and second at the 2015 and 2016 European Amateur Team Championships, respectively.
Nacho Gervás, technical director of the Spanish Golf Federation, told the newspaper El País: "She was a player who was heading for the very top, without a doubt."
Iowa State withdrew from the final of the East & West Match Play tournament on Tuesday. The golf team had been competing in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but returned to campus.
Funeral arrangements are pending for Barquin Arozamena, who will be honored during Iowa State's home football game Saturday.
ESPN's Paula Lavigne and The Associated Press contributed to this report.