Police have charged a man with the premeditated murder of a Spanish golfer, Celia Barquin Arozamena, who investigators say was assaulted and killed on a golf course in the US state of Iowa.
The 22-year-old’s body was discovered Monday by police officers who responded to a report of a “suspicious” unattended golf bag at the Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, Iowa.
They found her body nearby and determined she “had been assaulted and died as a result,” according to a police statement.
Colin Daniel Richards, 22, was identified as a suspect and charged with first-degree murder.
Barquin Arozamena hailed from Puente San Miguel in Spain, and this year was named Iowa State University’s female athlete of the year, having claimed a major conference championship victory.
She had finished her university golf career, which ran from 2015 to 2018, and was wrapping up her studies for a civil engineering degree.
“Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed,” Jamie Pollard, the Iowa State Director of Athletics, said in a statement.
“Our Cyclone family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador.”
Barquin Arozamena was the school’s career leader in stroke average (73.44) and was the third woman golfer from Iowa State to compete in the US Women’s Open Championship.
In August she had advanced to Stage II of the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament.
“We are all devastated,” said the university’s head women’s golf coach, Christie Martens. “Celia was a beautiful person who was loved by all her teammates and friends.”
“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life.”
Much of the golfing world has paid tribute to the late Arozamena.
The LET & everyone @meditladiesopen are devastated by the terrible news regarding Spanish amateur, Celia Barquin Arozamena. Our thoughts are with her loved ones, Tour friends & everyone connected to @CycloneWGOLF ?? https://t.co/DF62s5QI5D
— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) September 18, 2018
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Celia Barquin Arozamena at this very sad time. https://t.co/bQDXWLvxOT
— The R&A (@RandA) September 18, 2018
We opened day 2 of LGA's Elite Coaching Summit in Spain with a tribute to former Iowa State golfer, Celia Barquin Arozamena. Celia played a large role in @rfegolf and we send our sincerest thoughts to her friends and family. https://t.co/SogY70ayLX
— David Leadbetter (@davidleadbetter) September 18, 2018
The LPGA is deeply saddened to learn the terrible news about Celia Barquin Arozamena. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and the entire Iowa State community as they mourn her tragic passing. https://t.co/kIwqCuV4Ik
— LPGA (@LPGA) September 18, 2018
For today's front page of the Iowa State Daily, we remember Celia Barquin Arozamena.
— Iowa State Daily (@iowastatedaily) September 18, 2018
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Chris Kelleher)