Iowa State honored slain Big 12 golf star Celia Barquin Arozamena with an elaborate ceremony before the Cyclones’ game against Akron on Saturday. Barquin-Arozamena, a native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was previously set to be honored as Iowa State’s female athlete of the year. The 22 year old womens Golf Athlete was murdered on Monday in Ames, Iowa just a mile east of the Cyclones, Jack Trice Stadium. More than 60,000 Cyclone fans wore yellow, one of the school’s colors and a nod to Barquin Arozamen’s Spanish roots. Iowa State Pre-Game Ceremony
On Monday September 17, the 22 year-old Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year set out for an early round of golf alone at the Coldwater Links public golf course near campus. Golfers who had seen Barquin-Arozamena earlier in the morning stumbled upon her cellphone, ball cap and golf bag on the ninth hole fairway of the golf course “with no one around it,” according to a police statement.
Officers arrived on scene at 10:24am and set out on foot to find her, approximately 30 minutes after arriving police found the woman’s body, in a pond near where her bag was found. After discovering her body it was evident she had been assaulted, “the victim sustained several stab wounds to the upper torso, head, and neck,” according to ABC News.
A K-9 unit tracked the victim’s scent to a homeless encampment on the banks of Squaw Creek in the wooded area adjacent to the golf course, it was there police came across 22 year-old homeless man Collin Richards.
“Officers observed that … [Richards] had several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and also noted [he] attempted to conceal a deep laceration to his left hand, which he attempted to bury in the ground,” the criminal report reads.
Police also contacted an acquaintance of Richards who told them the suspect showed up at his residence near the golf course Monday afternoon and that he “appeared disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water,” according to the complaint.
The man told police Richards left his house after bathing and washing his clothes, the complaint stated.
Two other witnesses told police that Richards asked them for a ride to Jefferson, Iowa, and had given them a knife, according to the complaint. While driving to Jefferson, Richards told the men he needed to return to the homeless encampment because he forgot his tent, according to the complaint.
When they arrived at the golf course, they noticed police swarming the area, the complaint reads. Richards got out of their vehicle and approached police officers searching the tent encampment, the complaint states.
Police said they recovered a knife that Richards allegedly gave to two witnesses, according to the complaint. Police also found two pairs of blood-stained shorts in Richards’ backpack. Richards was taken into custody and booked for First Degree Murder, a life sentence in the state of Iowa who does not have the death penalty.