Celia Barquin, a European champion golfer and Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year, was found dead on an Iowa golf course Monday. A 22-year-old man has been linked to her killing, BBC News and other outlets are reporting.
Barquin, 22, won the European Ladies’ Amateur championship in July and was a leading student-athlete at Iowa State University, where she was studying civil engineering at the Ames campus.
Barquin’s body was found around 10:30 a.m. after golfers at the Coldwater Golf Links in Ames discovered an unattended golf bag on the course, according to a press release shared on the Ames Police verified Twitter account. When police were called to the scene, they found the Spain native dead nearby.
Collin Daniel Richards has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Barquin’s death, police said. He has no known address, according to their statement.
“Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed. Our Cyclone family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador,” said ISU Athletics Director Jamie Pollard, as quoted by the Iowa State women’s golf team on Twitter.
“Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed. Our Cyclone family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador.” – ISU Athletics Director Jamie Pollard
— Iowa State WGolf (@CycloneWGOLF) September 18, 2018
Originally from Puente San Miguel in Spain, Barquin was set to finish her degree in civil engineering this semester, according to the BBC News report. Barquín won the 2018 Big 12 university championship, an annual tournament contested between 10 leading US sports universities, and was crowned European Ladies’ Amateur champion just two months before her death.
According to CNN, Barquin has been described as “one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history,” in reference to the university’s nickname.
“Celia was a beautiful person who was loved by all her teammates and friends,” said Christie Martens, Iowa State head women’s golf coach, as quoted in the CNN report. “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.”
Who is the alleged killer of Celia Barquin Arozamena?… https://t.co/w7izFZahWC
— We Are Iowa Local 5 (@weareiowa5news) September 18, 2018
According to Iowa news channel WOI-DT, Richards has a criminal history, which includes intimidation with a dangerous weapon, trespassing, and public intoxication. According to the outlet, the 22-year-old was accused of intimidation with a dangerous weapon after stealing two energy drinks from a service station in Guthrie in 2015. In September 2017, he was thrown out of his grandparent’s house and reported by his father for storming the home and damaging the property. In July 2018, Richards was arrested for drunkenness.
It is unclear whether Barquin and Richards knew each other.