A man described as having “an urge to rape and kill women” pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2018 slaying of a Iowa State University golf star on the golf course.
Collin Daniel Richards, 22, entered the plea Friday in the stabbing death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a civil engineering student from Spain who was the university’s Female Athlete of the Year.
“This was a good result for the victim’s family and community at large,” Story County Attorney Jessica A. Reynolds tells PEOPLE. “It is a good result and under Iowa law there is a mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole.”
Reynolds says that during the hearing, Richards was “calm, soft-spoken and didn’t show any emotion.”
Barquin Arozamena was found dead at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames in September 2018. She had suffered stab wounds to the upper torso, head and neck.
Reynolds says the slaying was random and that Richards, who was described as homeless, didn’t know Barquin Arozamena.
“Most of us like to think if we are good people and live a good life we will be safe, but there are cases where there are really good people doing wonderful things who are victims of random violence,” she says. “We are giving a sense of accountability back to our community.”
As to motive, Reynolds says Richards “wanted to rape and murder a beautiful girl.”
‘What Did He Do to Her?’
“We know from the admission in open court he spotted her on the seventh tee and he watched her to the ninth tee and surprised her and attacked her,” she says.
Police were called to the golf course at 10:24 a.m. Sept. 17 after golfers discovered a golf bag with no one around it. At around 11 a.m. golf club staff alerted police that they’d found Barquin Arozamena in a pond on the course, a distance away from her golf bag.
According to a probable cause statement obtained by PEOPLE, during a search of the area after Barquin Arozamena was discovered, officers spoke to a man who had been camping with Richards along a nearby walking trail.
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“The male was identified by officers, and upon initial contact, made a statement to the effect ‘What did he do to her?,’��� the document stated.
The man told police that he had been staying near Richards in a homeless camp in the woods near the golf course and that within the last several days Richards made a “statement to the effect of having an urge to rape and kill a woman,” according to the police statement.
A scent dog tracked the victim’s scent from where she was found to the camp where Richards was living.
At the camp, officers said they were approached by Richards and noticed that he had several fresh scratches on his face “consistent with fighting” and that he was attempting to conceal a deep laceration in his left hand, which he tried to bury in the ground.
According to CBS, Barquin Arozamena, a native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was the third Iowa State women’s golfer to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship. She was also ranked No. 69 nationally by Golfweek, the station reports.
Richards is scheduled to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Aug. 23, according to the Associated Press.