Homeless Man Says He’s Sorry for Killing Iowa State Golf Star Celia Barquin Arozamena

August 14, 2019 Updated: August 14, 2019

A homeless man issued an apology for killing an Iowa State golf athlete, saying he wants to show “remorse for stripping a life from society.”

Collin Richards, 22 submitted a hand-written note containing an apology for the 2018 killing of Celia Barquin Arozamena, who was also 22.

In June, he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Celia Barquin Arozamena at a golf tournament
File photo showing Celia Barquin Arozamena hitting on to the ninth green during the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open Championship golf tournament at Shoal Creek, on May 31, 2018. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo)

“I want the family and you to know I’m sorry,” Richards wrote in the letter. “I also want you to know change is my mission, new life is my goal,” WHO-TV reported.

The convict added that “I will use all resources and steps. If there is anything I can do I will. Thank you for the time and for working with me.”

Arozamena was killed at the Coldwater Golf Links on Sept. 17, and Richards was later discovered with bloody clothes in a backpack.

Collin Daniel Richards family speaks out
Collin Daniel Richards in a file photo. (Story County Jail via AP)

He was previously living in a tent near the course and allegedly told someone that he had the urge to kill a woman, reported the New York Post.

Richards faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is slated to be sentenced later in August.

A native of Spain, Barquin Arozamena, 22, was the most successful female golfer at the school’s history and was named the female athlete of the year, according to the Des Moines Register.

She won the Big 12 Women’s Championship and the European Ladies Amateur Championship in Slovakia last year.

Details

Last year, police said they recovered a knife and bloody clothing linked to Richards, who completed a prison sentence in June and has prior convictions for burglary and harassment.

“Losing one of our student-athletes is like losing a child,” Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said, choking back tears at a news conference. “We’re all devastated and heartbroken.”

Pollard said Barquin had “broke down in tears” when she found out she had been named the school’s 2018 female athlete of the year — an achievement she had been set to be honored for during Saturday’s football game. Instead, the team will wear helmet decals with Barquin’s initials to honor her.

Ames Police Cmdr. Geoff Huff said homicides are rare in the city, and it’s “very troubling for something like this to happen in broad daylight.”

Richards left prison in June after serving seven months for violating the terms of his probation, following convictions for burglary, theft, criminal mischief and harassment, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections. Records show he was arrested weeks later after he was found passed out near an Ames liquor store, telling police he took antidepressants before drinking alcohol.

Since 2014, Richards had been charged with abusing a girlfriend, stealing a pickup truck, using a baseball bat to smash a car window and burglarizing a gas station. In one case, the Iowa State Patrol seized a long knife from him during a traffic stop. In another, he threatened to return to a convenience store to shoot clerks who caught him shoplifting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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