Sports

Who Is Celia Barquin? Golfer's Body Found on Iowa Golf Course in Tragic Murder Case

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Celia Barquin Arozamena hits on to the ninth green during the first round of the U.S. Women's Open Championship golf tournament at Shoal Creek, Alabama, on May 31. The 22-year-old's body was recovered on a golf course in Iowa on September 17. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

A man has been charged with the murder of Iowa State golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena, who was found dead at a golf course in Ames, Iowa.

The body of the 22-year-old was recovered on Monday morning on the Coldwater Golf Course. Officers who had initially been called to the course after players found an unattended golf bag concluded that Barquin Arozamena had been assaulted.

On Monday night, Ames police disclosed that Colin Daniel Richards, a 22-year-old with no fixed address, had been charged with the killing following a joint investigation conducted by several law enforcement agencies.

Originally from Puente San Miguel in Spain, Barquin Arozamena, during her career at Iowa State, was a three-time all-conference selection and qualified for National Collegiate Athletic Association regionals in each of the four years in which she competed.

She also became only the second player in Iowa State’s history to earn All-Big 12 Team honors for a third time, and she remained the school’s career leader in stroke average, while her 16 top 10 finishes tied for second in the school's history.  

In April, she won the Big 12 championship by three strokes and was named Iowa State’s Female Athlete of the Year. The Iowa State Athletics Department has already put plans in place to honor her before Iowa State’s football game against Akron on Saturday.

"We are all devastated," Iowa State women's golf coach Christie Martens said in a statement. "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."

Jamie Pollard , the college’s athletic director, added: "Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed."

Barquin Arozamena, who won the European Ladies' Amateur championship at the Penati Golf Resort in Slovakia in July, had finished her eligibility this spring but opted to remain in college to finish her civil engineering degree in the current semester.

"This is a tragic and senseless loss of a talented young woman and an acclaimed student athlete," Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen said. "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."

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