AMES, Iowa — A man with a criminal background was charged with murder just hours after a former Iowa State University champion golfer turned up dead in a pond on a golf course.
Collin Daniel Richards, 22, who police said has no known address and, according to court records, was kicked out of the grandparents' house a year ago, was charged with first-degree murder in Celia Barquin Arozamena's stabbing death Monday.
[RELATED: Rising golf star found dead on golf course]
Police found her body at Coldwater Links golf course near Iowa State University in Ames, where she apparently went golfing alone Monday morning.
Richards purportedly made statements to an acquaintance recently "to the effect of having an urge to rape and kill a woman," according to a criminal complaint made public Tuesday.
Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds described the killing as "a random act of violence" during a brief court hearing for Richards Tuesday morning.
"The state believes him to be a flight risk, also believes him to be a danger to the community," Reynolds said during the hearing.
The judge granted her request to set bail at $5 million.
Richards appeared in court in shackles and made no statements. He was ordered to return to court Sept. 28 for a preliminary hearing.
Attorney Paul Rounds of the Story County Public Defender's Office was appointed to represent Richards.
"I hope people reserve judgment until after the trial," Rounds told ABC News when reached by phone, declining to comment further.
- Man shot trying to stop thieves from robbing friend in East Atlanta, police say
- Man at center of latest Katt Williams drama gives his side of story
- GBI releases 3D model in hopes of identifying remains
Cmdr. Geoff Huff, head of the Ames Police Department's criminal investigations division, said at a news conference Tuesday, "It's rare, obviously. It's still very troubling that something like this would happen in broad daylight in a community that is as safe as Ames is.”
He added: "It's an awful thing that's happened. I'm not sure what else I can say."
Barquin Arozamena, a native of Spain, was recently named Iowa State’s female athlete of the year.
Barquin Arozamena had turned pro this past spring after completing her college golfing career. Earlier this year, she qualified for the U.S. Women's Open in Alabama, one of the LPGA Tour's majors.
The Ames Police Department opened a suspicious death investigation Monday morning when golfers found Barquin Arozamena's cellphone, ball cap and golf bag on the ninth hole fairway of the golf course "with no one around it," according to a police statement.
Golfers had seen Barquin Arozamena on the golf course earlier but told police she had disappeared, prompting a search for her, officials said.
Officers were called to the golf course about 10:24 a.m. and found Barquin's body a half-hour later in a pond near where her golf bag was discovered and determined she had been assaulted, according to the criminal complaint.
"Based on the scene investigation, the victim sustained several stab wounds to the upper torso, head, and neck," the criminal complaint stated.
Police searched the golf course and stopped a man walking on a trail leading into a wooded area who identified himself as an acquaintance of Richards.
A K-9 unit tracked the victim's scent to a homeless encampment on the banks of Squaw Creek in the wooded area adjacent to the golf course, according to the criminal complaint.
Police were searching the camp, which consisted of two tents, when Richards approached them.
"Officers observed the … [Richards] had several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and also noted [he] attempted to conceal a deep laceration to his left hand, which he attempted to bury in the ground," the criminal complaint reads.
Police also contacted an acquaintance of Richards who told them the suspect showed up at his residence near the golf course Monday afternoon and that he "appeared disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water," according to the complaint.
The man told police Richards left his house after bathing and washing his clothes, the complaint stated.
Two other witnesses told police that Richards asked them for a ride to Jefferson, Iowa, and had given them a knife, according to the complaint. While driving to Jefferson, Richards told the men he needed to return to the homeless encampment because he forgot his tent, according to the complaint.
When they arrived at the golf course, they noticed police swarming the area, the complaint says. Richards got out of their vehicle and approached police officers searching the tent encampment, the complaint states.
Police said they recovered a knife that Richards allegedly gave to two witnesses, according to the complaint. Police also found two pairs of blood-stained shorts in Richards' backpack.
Richards has a criminal record, according to court documents. He has pleaded guilty to charges of domestic abuse, assault, theft and public intoxication in the past, the records show.
In September 2017, he was arrested on suspicion of breaking into his grandparents' house, according to court records. Richards told police he had broken into the house to retrieve his belongings after his grandparents had kicked him out, records show.
Richards’ most recent arrest occurred in July when he was taken into custody on suspicion of public intoxication after police found him passed out at a convenience store in Ames, according to records.
Several law enforcement agencies, including the Iowa State University Police Department, assisted in the investigation.
"I don't know a lot of the details yet but it's just a horrific, horrific senseless death," Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds told reporters Tuesday at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines.
Reynolds' statement was echoed by Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen.
"We were deeply saddened to learn yesterday of the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena. Celia was a dedicated student in civil engineering. She was a talented student athlete and an acclaimed golfer with a bright future," Wintersteen said in a statement Monday. "Celia was a champion and a proud ambassador for Iowa State. Our hearts are with Celia's family and friends as we grieve her passing. It's a terrible, tragic and senseless loss.
"In these moments, we recognize our own mortality and realize that each day is a gift," Wintersteen said. "I hope everyone will take time today to meet with their friends and loved ones, value those connections and feel thankful that they can do so. A bright candle in our Cyclone Nation no longer shines, and our community and the world are less for it."
Cox Media Group