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Relatives of Iowa man charged in golfer’s death ‘devastated’

23 September, 2018, 16:10 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Man charged with murder after Spanish champion golfer found dead on Iowa course

The anguished mother of slain college golfer Celia Barquín Arozamena paid tribute to her daughter in Spain as hundreds gathered at Iowa State University to weep over their fallen fellow student.

Relatives of the 22-year-old Iowa man charged in the stabbing death of a top amateur golfer from Spain say they're "devastated by the tragedy".

Police identified Colin Daniel Richards, 22, as their lone suspect and charged him with first-degree murder.

A star collegiate golfer from Spain was attacked and killed by a homeless stranger while she was playing a round alone near her campus in Iowa, police said Tuesday. A second acquaintance told police that Richards arrived at his nearby home Monday "disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water".

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Iowa State University said Barquin Arozamena was finishing a civil engineering degree.

Arozamena was going to be on the field at halftime of Saturday's game to be honored as Iowa State's female athlete of the year.

Police said they recovered a knife and bloody clothing linked to Richards, who completed a prison sentence in June and has prior convictions for burglary and harassment.

Swedish golfing great Annika Sorenstam called the murder "horrendous", as she posted a picture of herself alongside Barquin after she won the 2018 European Ladies' Amateur Championship in Slovakia in July. Instead, football players will wear helmet decals with her initials to mourn the loss.

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Richards also appeared to be trying to hide a deep cut on his left hand, police said. He said police have had "past encounters" with Richards but that he did not know details, or any information about Richards' criminal record. She also said she might be open to considering a plan to require Iowa employers to use the government's E-Verify system to check their workers' eligibility to be in the USA, although it's not clear whether that would have prevented the farm from hiring Rivera.

"Losing one of our student-athletes is like losing a child", Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said, choking back tears at a news conference.

"During a search of the wooded area next to the golf course, officers located a subject who spoke of another individual living in the wooded area who had made statements of having an urge to rape and kill women".

Richards once threatened to "shoot up" a convenience store where he was caught shoplifting.

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