Murder of Golf Star in Broad Daylight 'Very Troubling'

Collin Daniel Richards is ordered held on $5M cash-only bail
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2018 1:51 PM CDT
Suspect in Iowa State Golf Murder Spoke of Evil Urges
In this Sept. 7, 2017, photo provided by Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena poses for a photo.   (Luke Lu/Iowa State University via AP)

In a Tuesday morning hearing that lasted just minutes, the man accused of killing a star Iowa State University golfer on Monday was ordered held on $5 million cash-only bond. Prosecutors described Collin Daniel Richards as homeless and the crime that took Celia Barquin Arozamena's life as "a random act of violence." The Des Moines Register has a timeline, reporting Ames police arrived at the Coldwater Golf Links to investigate a missing persons report at 10:24am; the Spanish 22-year-old's body was found in a pond roughly 40 minutes later. Police say she had been stabbed a number of times in the head, neck, and upper torso. NBC News reports she had been golfing alone.

  • "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 Tuesday news conference, per the AP.

  • As for what led police to Richards, they say they questioned an acquaintance of his who was in the area a couple of hours later, and he said something along the lines of "What did he do to her?" apparently in reference to Richards. The unnamed man said that he and Richards had been near the course a few days prior, and that Richards "had made a statement to the effect of having an urge to rape and kill a woman," per the complaint.
  • Officers say they observed scratches on Richards' face and a deep cut on his left hand, which "he attempted to bury in the ground," per a criminal complaint seen by ABC News. He had been living at a homeless encampment near the golf course, and another acquaintance told police he saw Richards covered in blood, sand, and water on Monday. Police have reportedly recovered bloody shorts and a knife.
  • The AP reports Richards was in prison as recently as earlier this year, and ESPN quotes Huff as saying "we have had encounters with him in the past." The sports site gets greater detail from Jefferson Police Chief Mark Clouse, who said that several years ago police responded on at least three occasions to reports of domestic disputes related to Richards' girlfriend or grandfather. He pleaded guilty to domestic abuse in relation to one such incident in which he allegedly put his girlfriend in a headlock and cut off her air supply. But Clouse said those incidents were "nothing that stood out as someone capable of what happened."
  • A preliminary hearing is set for next Friday. Richards faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted.
  • Considered one of the most accomplished players in Iowa State golf history, the Puente San Miguel native was the 2018 Big 12 women's golf champion and the Iowa State Female Athlete of the year. Barquin Arozamena had exhausted her eligibility at the school and was finishing her civil engineering degree.
(More Celia Barquin Arozamena stories.)

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