LAKE ELMO, Minn. (KMSP) - The women’s golf community is mourning after a former Iowa State golfer was found murdered on a course in Ames, Iowa.
On the Coldwater Links golf course Monday morning, police found the body of 22-year-old Celia Barquin Arozamena. She had stab wounds to her neck, head and upper torso.
Barquin Arozamena was an international student from Spain. The 2018 Big 12 Champion had recently qualified for the U.S. Women's Open. While she had wrapped up her collegiate sports eligibility in the spring, she was set to finish her civil engineering degree this fall.
“It's very troubling that something like this would happen in broad daylight in a community that is as safe as Ames is," said Commander Geoff Huff of the Ames Police Department.
After finding a knife in his possession, police say her killer is 22-year-old Collin Richards, a homeless man who lived in a tent near the golf course. He has been charged with first degree murder. Police say the attack was a random act of violence.
“Travel in groups and just be aware of your surroundings," Commander Huff advised.
The loss was even felt at the Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, Minn. Tuesday where a moment of silence was held for Barquin Arozamena at the first tee ahead of the ANNIKA Foundation’s Intercollegiate tournament. Annika Sorenstam, golf legend and tournament host, is also rattled by the tragedy.
“I always felt the golf course is my sanctuary. I mean, that was my place where I felt comfortable, so it’s just I think all of that just hits at once,” said Sorenstam.
The loss impacts those who knew Barquin Arozamena personally, like golfers Brooke Riley and Janet Mao from Northwestern University. Even as her former competitors, they admired her.
“You don’t think of it happening to someone that you know and especially to a girl like Celia,” said Riley.
“She was so bubbly,” said Mao. “She really always made you smile. She always made other people smile. She was just the cutest thing.”
Iowa State’s athletics department will honor Barquin Arozamena with a video tribute and a moment of silence, prior to this Saturday’s home football game.