A homeless man attacked and killed a top amateur golfer from Spain who was playing a round alone near her university campus in central Iowa, leaving her body in a pond on the course, police said today.
Collin Daniel Richards, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University. He was ordered jailed today on a $7 million, cash-only bond.
Barquin was found yesterday morning at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 50 kilometres north of Des Moines.
Police were called to the course around 10.20am to investigate a possible missing female after golfers found a golf bag with no one around it.
Officers found Barquin's body some distance from the bag, with several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday.
Barquin, the 2018 Big 12 champion and Iowa State Female Athlete of the year, had no known prior relationship with Richards, Ames police Commander Geoff Huff said.
Richards, who faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted, reported in a financial affidavit that he has no job.
"We have had encounters with him in the past, " Huff told reporters at a news conference today.
"I don't have any specifics on him no about criminal record or how many incidents we've had with him."
The university said Barquin, a native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was finishing her civil engineering degree this semester after exhausting her eligibility at Iowa State in 2017-2018.
Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement on Twitter that she was "deeply saddened" by Barquin's death.
She was one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history. In April, she became the second women's golfer at Iowa State to earn medalist honors at a conference tournament when claiming the 2018 Big 12 Championship. She did it with a three-shot victory.
It is the second fatal stabbing of a female student in Iowa in recent months.
An immigrant from Mexico is charged in the July 18 kidnapping and stabbing of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, who vanished while out for a run in the small town of Brooklyn.