As we take a look back at 2018, The Gazette newsroom assembled a list of our top stories of the year. Be sure to follow along as we count down to number 1!
Celia Barquin Arozamena headed out on a solo round of golf at Coldwater Links public golf course in Ames early the morning of Sept. 17.
Having won the Big 12 women’s championship months earlier and qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open, Barquin Arozamena was finishing the ninth hole when a man attacked her. The man stabbed her in the torso and neck and dumped her body in a pond next to the hole.
A foursome of golfers who had let Barquin Arozamena play through five holes earlier were the first to know something was wrong. They found her Iowa State golf bag on the fairway and notified golf staff when they found her tees strewn about and cellphone abandoned. They alerted authorities.
Barquin Arozamena, a 22-year-old top amateur golfer and native of Spain, recently had been named Iowa State’s female athlete of the year and was one of the most accomplished golfers in the university program’s history. She was known for her smile and sense of humor, golf skills and academic abilities.
The killing — which investigators consider a random act of violence — stunned the Ames community and sent shock waves to her hometown of Puente San Miguel, Spain. Athletes from around the Big 12 and golfers competing in the Ryder Cup wore patches or ribbons in remembrance. The city declared three days of mourning, and City Council members released a statement condemning the death. Officials in Puente San Miguel renamed a municipal sports center in her honor.
Collin Daniel Richards, 22, who police say is homeless, faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in Barquin Arozamena’s death. Richards told another man he had “an urge to rape and kill a woman” before the slaying, police said.
Richards remains in jail on a $5 million bail. His trial is scheduled to begin in April.