Man who allegedly murdered 22-year-old golf champ had "the urge to rape and kill a woman"
Collin Daniel Richards was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a golfer who was studying civil engineering at Iowa State University
Law enforcement authorities in Ames, Iowa said the man accused of killing an Iowa State University golf star allegedly had "an urge to rape and kill women."
On Tuesday, 22-year-old Collin Daniel Richards was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a European amateur golf champion hailing from Puente San Miguel, Spain, who was studying civil engineering at Iowa State. She was recently declared the university’s Female Athlete of the Year. The young golf prodigy was found dead at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames on Monday.
Ames Police Department Commander Geoff Huff finally revealed the details of the tragic incident at a press conference Tuesday morning. According to him, the 22-year-old golf star had sustained “stab wounds to the upper torso, head, and neck.”
“It is really troubling that something like that would happen in broad daylight out in the middle of an area that is easily seen from a lot of locations,” Huff said. “It is extremely troubling.”
The motive behind the murder is yet to be formally established. However, Huff said there was no evidence that Richards previously knew Celia and described the suspect as "homeless".
It is also unclear how long Richards may have been stalking the victim. “We don’t know how long he may have followed her,” Huff said. However, so far in the investigation, Richards is the only suspect in the cruel slaying of the athlete, he added.
Having said that, Richards has had previous run-ins with the law, according to police records.
Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen posted a statement on Twitter mourning the loss of Celia. In her tweet, she described the 22-year-old as a “talented student athlete and an acclaimed golfer with a bright future.”
“Our hearts are with Celia’s family and friends as we grieve her passing,” she wrote. “It’s a terrible, tragic and senseless loss.”
On Monday, cops received a call from golfers at around 10.24 am after they found an unattended golf bag. At around 11 am, golf club staff alerted police that they found Celia's lifeless body in a pond on the course at "some distance" from the bag.
During a search of the area after the discovery, investigative officers spoke to a man who had allegedly been camping with Richards along a nearby walking trail, according to a probable cause statement obtained by People. “The male was identified by officers and, upon initial contact, made a statement to the effect ‘What did he do to her?’” the document mentioned.
“Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed. Our Cyclone family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador.” - ISU Athletics Director Jamie Pollard— Iowa State WGolf (@CycloneWGOLF) September 18, 2018
According to the police statement, the said individual revealed that, in the last couple of weeks, Richards had made a statement to the effect of "having an urge to rape and kill a woman". The man had been staying with Richards in a homeless camp in the woods near the golf course.
Authorities subsequently brought in a scent dog from the Boone Sheriff's office who precisely tracked the victim's scent from where her body was found right up to the camp where Richards was living.
Upon reaching the camp, officers found Richards with several scratches on his face “consistent with fighting” and revealed that he was trying to hide a deep gash on his left hand.
“The people at that location described Richards as disheveled and covered with blood, sand, and water,” Huff said.
During a search of the campsite, officers found a black backpack and two pairs of shorts with blood stains. They also recovered a knife from the area, according to the probable cause statement.
Celia Barquin Arozamena was the third Iowa State women's golfer to participate in the US Women's Open Championship and was ranked No 69 nationally by Golfweek, CBS reports.
On Tuesday, a judge set Richards' bond at $5 million and scheduled a preliminary hearing for September 28. He is yet to enter a plea deal.
Paul Rounds, the attorney representing Richards, told People, “I just hope people keep an open mind till the matter proceeds to trial.”