Slaying of star golfer from Spain shocks Iowa college town

Collin Daniel Richards makes his initial court appearance after being charged with the murder of Iowa State golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena on Tuesday Sept. 18 2018 at the Story County Courthouse in Nevada Iowa. (Kelsey Kremer  The Des Moines Register

Man charged with murder after Spanish champion golfer found dead on Iowa course

The depth of the mark that Spanish golf player Celia Barquín left at Iowa State University became evident when her friends and colleagues came together on Wednesday night to mourn her loss, two days after she was found dead on a golf course at Ames. 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.

A 22-year-old homeless man named Collin Daniel Richards was identified as the suspect, police said in a release. In April, Barquin earned medalist honors after claiming the 2018 Big 12 Championship with a three-stroke victory.

"Yes, she was an incredible golfer, yes she was a terrific engineering student, yes she even died a horrific death, but this doesn't capture who she was".

As news of the tragedy was disseminated, many people and organizations began to send their tributes to the slain golfer.

Meanwhile, fans of the Iowa State football team have all been asked to wear yellow for Saturday's games in Ames against Akron, in honour of Barquin.

Barquin was one of the most decorated and successful golfers in Iowa State history.

Richards had lived in small towns throughout western Iowa, residing with his mother, father and grandparents at various times. She recently won an amateur tournament in Europe and competed in the U.S. Women's Open Championship.

Police found bloody clothes belonging to Richards, but DNA test results had not been returned yet, Huff said. Officers found Richards with several scratches on his face consistent with fighting and a deep laceration in his left hand that he tried to hide, it said. Police then took Richards into custody for questioning. Commander Geoff Huff said Richards is homeless and has been living in nearby woods. Paul Rounds, a public defender assigned to represent him, filed paperwork asserting his right to not speak to investigators.

Court records show that since 2014, Richards had been charged with abusing a former girlfriend, stealing a pickup truck after wrecking his own vehicle, using a baseball bat to smash a auto window and burglarizing a gas station.

'Losing one of our student-athletes is like losing a child, ' Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said, choking back tears at a news conference.

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

"We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life", Martens said.

Garcia revealed he had "the pleasure of meeting her" and called her a "special person".

Several speakers, including women's golf coach Christie Martens, talked about the star golfer from Spain.

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