Slain golfer, suspect lived contrasting lives in Iowa city

Man charged with murder after Spanish champion golfer found dead on Iowa course

Details emerge in ‘extremely troubling’ slaying of golf champion Celia Barquín

More than a thousand people gathered on Iowa State University's campus Wednesday night to celebrate the life of slain student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

A man, Collin Daniel Richards, was taken into custody, held on $5 million bond, and has been charged with first-degree murder.

He allegedly stabbed Barquin and left her body in a pond near the ninth hole. Commander Geoff Huff said Richards is homeless and has been living in nearby woods.

Richards grew up in small towns in western Iowa, and has a history of violence and substance abuse.

Richards faces life in prison if he is convicted.

During the course of the weekend, Iowa State sports teams will wear a tribute to Barquín consisting of a red and white sticker to represent the Spanish flag with her initials.

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"Every day she would walk into practice with a massive infectious smile and give you a massive hug.regardless of whether you wanted one or not", one teammate said. Richards had fresh cuts and scratches consistent with fighting and also tried to hide his left hand from officers, according to an Ames police criminal complaint. She was the third Iowa State women's golfer to compete in the U.S. Women's Open Championship. But as a senior, she returned and won the 2018 Big 12 tournament by three strokes with 69.

Professional golfer Sergio Garcia, a native of Spain and one of Barquin's favorites, tweeted that he was heartbroken by the news, saying he'd had the pleasure of meeting Barquin and calling her a "special person". A friend had given her his number in the middle of a party, and Celia, always impulsive, had called him straight away.

"We are asking Cyclone fans to enter the stadium earlier than normal and embrace Celia's teammates, coaches and friends", Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said in a statement Wednesday.

Since 2014, Richards had been charged with abusing a girlfriend, stealing a pickup truck, using a baseball bat to smash a auto window and burglarizing a gas station. Richards became enraged, court records show, and threatened to get a gun and "shoot up the place".

"As we all learn more about what happened in this senseless tragedy again, we will look for opportunities and ways that we can do better", she told reporters, according to the Des Moines Register.

Richards was sent to prison previous year only after he tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana, failed to complete an anger-management course he started four times and didn't pay court-ordered fees to a halfway house, court records show.

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