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Iowa State golf star stabbed to death by homeless man who had an 'urge to rape and kill a woman,' police say

Collin Daniel Richards. Story County Sheriff's Department

AMES, Iowa — A 22-year-old homeless man who had an "urge to rape and kill a woman" is in custody after stabbing a star collegiate golfer to death at an Ames, Iowa, golf course Monday morning, Sept. 18, police said Tuesday.

Collin Daniel Richards is charged with first-degree murder and is being held on a $5 million cash bond for the killing of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a budding golf star from Spain who was working toward joining the pro tour while finishing her engineering degree at Iowa State University. If convicted, Richards will face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

At around 10:24 a.m. Monday, officers responded to the Coldwater Golf Links golf course in reference to a suspicious circumstance in which a group of golfers had located a golf bag with no one around it on the course, according to police.

Officers arrived on scene and subsequently located a body, later identified as Barquin, some distance away in a pond off the ninth hole tee box. During the investigation, officers determined the victim had been assaulted and suffered stab wounds to the upper torso, head and neck, and died as a result, police said.

During a search of a wooded area near the golf course, police located a man who spoke of another individual, later identified as Richards, who had made statements about having an "urge to rape and kill women," police said. A police K9 was used and traced a scent from the victim to a location in the wooded area where Richards lived, which is across from the golf course.

At around 2 p.m., police encountered Richards, who had "several fresh scratches on his face consistent with a fight," according to Commander Geoff Huff, and was also attempting to conceal a laceration on his left hand. Police then took Richards into custody for questioning.

In an interview with police later that day, Richards said that he had stayed with another man the day of the assault and bathed, police said. Officers said that they then went to the home of the man, which was near the golf course and the wooded area where Richards lived.

When police arrived, the man said Richards appeared "disheveled" and "covered in blood, sand and water." Richards then left the man's house with his clothes in a black backpack, police said.

During a search of Richards tent and surrounding wooded area, a black backpack was located with two pairs of shorts with stains that tested positive for the presence of human blood. A knife was also recovered during the search, police said.

Prior to her death, Barquin was a rising star for the Iowa State University women's golf team.

The Cyclones were scheduled to compete at the East & West Match Play this week in Michigan, but dropped out of the tournament following the news of Barquin's death.

"We are all devastated," said Christie Martens, head coach of the Iowa State women's golf team. "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."

Barquin was one of the most decorated and successful golfers in Iowa State history. Barquin, who was ranked No. 69 in the country by Golfweek, was one of three women's golfers to ever compete in the U.S. Women's Open Championship. She ended her collegiate career with a fourth straight NCAA Regional appearance and earned All-Big 12 Team honors for the third time. In April, Barquin earned medalist honors after claiming the 2018 Big 12 Championship with a three-stroke victory.

A judge set Richards' preliminary hearing for 1 p.m. on Sept. 28.

Ross Torgerson

Digital Reporter for Forum Communications. Native of Moorhead, Minn. Have a question or story idea? Email me at rtorgerson@forumcomm.com. Follow me on Twitter @RossTorgerson

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