Family of Murdered Champion Golfer Speaks Out

Tom Ozimek

The family of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a champion golfer from Spain who was studying in Iowa and was found murdered on a golf course, have spoken out in the wake of her killing.

“We are all very affected by what has happened,” said Andres Barquin, the victim’s brother, who spoke to reporters in the Spanish village of Puente San Miguel.

“We are in contact with the US authorities so that they can keep us informed little by little as to what has happened exactly,” he said.

Officials said the body of Barquin Arozamena, who was studying at Iowa State University, bore multiple signs of trauma.

Police said she had suffered “several stab wounds to the upper torso, head and neck,” according to the Des Moines Register.
A 22-year-old homeless man named Collin Daniel Richards was identified as the suspect, police said in a release. He faces first-degree murder charges, said police and made his initial appearance at Story County Courthouse in Nevada, Iowa, on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
The suspect’s bond has been set at $5 million.

‘She Just Had This Great Light About Her’

“She was so happy. She just had this great light about her,” said Barquin Arozamena’s coach Christie Martens, according to CBS. He added that her teammates were having difficulty coping with her death. “She was really close with them…. She’s really special to me. And I really, I love her a lot.”

Barquin was found dead at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames on the morning of Sept. 17.

Officials said they were called to the golf course at around 10 a.m. when golfers found an unattended golf bag. Officers then discovered the body “some distance away” from the bag, and they later determined that she was assaulted and later died.

A short time later, officers encountered Richards in a homeless camp near the course after a police dog tracked Barquin Arozamena’s scent to the area. Richards had fresh cuts and scratches consistent with fighting and also tried to conceal his left hand from officers, according to an Ames police criminal complaint.

Officers reportedly recovered a knife and two pairs of bloody shorts, according to CBS.

A witness also said that Richards allegedly talked about “having an urge to rape and kill a woman,” CBS reported.

Richards had recently served time in prison and was released in June of this year.

Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds called the murder a “random act of violence.”

In Barquin Arozamena’s hometown in Spain, women wept in the streets and flags flew at half-staff.

“We are all together, trying to put ourselves together, and that is what we are going to try to do these days, with the help of the family and those who are with us,” the victim’s brother told reporters.

Decorated Golfer

Iowa State University said Barquin Arozamena was finishing a civil engineering degree.
“Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed,” Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said in a news release on the college’s website. “Our Cyclone family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador.”

Barquin was an accomplished college golfer, becoming the 2018 Big 12 champion and Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year.

“This is a tragic and senseless loss of a talented young woman and an acclaimed student athlete,” Iowa State University President Dr. Wendy Wintersteen stated in the release. “We mourn with her family and friends in Spain, her teammates here and all who knew her. On behalf of the entire Cyclone family, I extend our deep condolences to Celia’s family and her many friends and teammates at Iowa State. We are deeply saddened.”

“We are all devastated,” Iowa State head women’s golf coach Christie Martens added. “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.”

The college website that funeral arrangements for her are pending.

Reuters and The Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report.
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Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
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