Collin Richards, the man accused of killing former Iowa State golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He pleaded guilty to the crime back in June and with a life sentence being the mandatory when it comes to first-degree murder in Iowa.
"I want you to know how sincere I am I want to show remorse for stripping a life from society worse from a loving family," Richards wrote in a letter to the court this month according to the Washington Post. “I want the family and you know to know I’m sorry."
On September 17, 2018 police were called to the Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, Iowa as other golfers noticed a golf bag with nobody to claim it. Barquin Arozamena's body was found nearby with stab wounds all over her body. Police were able to find Richards quickly as he was living in a tent near the golf course. There were cuts all over his body and police found blood-covered clothes in a backpack in his tent.
"A little after 2 p.m. on Monday, officers found the camp," the report said. "While officers were in the area, they were approached by Richards. He had several fresh scratches to his face consistent with fighting, and also police noted Richards tried to conceal a deep laceration on his left hand. He tried to bury his arm in the ground."
“Even if I had discretion to choose a sentence, based on the facts of this case I believe the sentence is appropriate,” Judge Bethany Currie said when she made the ruling on Richards according to NBC News.
Barquin Arozamena was born in Spain and she played golf for Iowa State from 2014-2018. In her final season at Iowa State, Barquin Arozamena won the Big 12 individual title and she was also named ISU Female Athlete of the Year. Barquin Arozamena also qualified for the Women's U.S. Open which took place in Alabama that same year.
"Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed," Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard said school-issued statement last year. "Our Cyclone family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador."
Along with the life sentence, Richards has to pay $150,000 in restitution to her family.