Kaitlin Armstrong is a Texas woman who is wanted in the shooting death of elite cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson.
Armstrong has now been captured in Costa Rica, the U.S. Marshals Service announced on June 30, 2022.
The affidavit accuses Armstrong of growing enraged because, at times, both women were involved romantically with Armstrong’s live-in boyfriend, a professional cyclist named Colin Strickland. The victim, Wilson, was a “competitive gravel and mountain cyclist” who “was known as a rising star in the sport,” the newspaper reported. The affidavit says Strickland praised Wilson as one of the best cyclists in the world. The day of the murder, Wilson and Strickland had gone swimming together and out to eat. Armstrong is also listed on a gravel cyclist website.
Authorities believe that Armstrong flew to New York before she disappeared.
She was slain a minute after arriving home from the swimming excursion.
“The U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force is assisting with the fugitive investigation of an Austin woman wanted for a homicide that occurred May 11 in the 1700 block of Maple Avenue,” the U.S. Marshals office wrote in a news release on May 20, 2022.
They named Kaitlin Marie Armstrong as the suspect.
A family GoFundMe described Mo Wilson as having a “loving spirit.”
“In her short time here, Moriah inspired many, lived fully, and loved fiercely,” it reads. “In her memory, we are raising money to help fund community organizations that help youth find self-confidence, strength, and joy through biking, skiing, and other activities that Moriah was passionate about.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wilson Was Discovered ‘Bleeding & Unconscious’ From Multiple Gunshot Wounds, Authorities Say
The Marshals service says that Wilson was murdered while she was in Austin, Texas, for a race.
“Austin police issued a homicide warrant May 17 for Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 35, who is suspected of killing Anna Wilson, 25, a Vermont native who was in Austin for a race,” the release states.
“Police responding to a call at the East Austin residence discovered Wilson bleeding and unconscious from multiple gunshot wounds. They performed CPR on her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.”
A press release from Austin police gave the victim’s name as “Anna Moriah Wilson, W/F, 5/18/1996.”
On Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at approximately 9:56 p.m., Austin Police Department officers “responded to an emergency call at 1708 Maple Ave #B. A woman told 9-1-1 dispatch she returned home to find her friend bleeding and unconscious,” that release says.
“Investigators arrived at the scene and discovered a 25-year-old female with multiple gunshot wounds. Officers and EMS performed life-saving measures. However, the victim died from her injuries. The victim is Anna Moriah Wilson. Wilson was pronounced deceased at 10:10 P.M. by Dr. Escott.”
Authorities noted: “The investigation shows someone shot Wilson inside the home on Maple Ave. Detectives have identified a person of interest. There is no reason to suspect any threats to the public, and the shooting does not appear to be a random act.” The cause of death was homicide.
The 911 caller, Caitlin Cash, said Wilson was her friend, a professional cyclist visiting from San Francisco, the affidavit states. She had picked Wilson up at the airport on May 10, and Wilson came to Austin for a bicycle race the coming weekend in Hico, Texas.
Officers observed multiple fired cartridge cases on the floor but no firearm.
Cash stated that on May 11, Wilson sent her a text message saying she was going to meet up with a friend named Colin to go swimming. Cash went home to speak with Wilson about her going out with Colin. She left the home around 5:30 p.m. to meet friends for dinner. She returned home to find Wilson lying on the bathroom floor covered in blood. Her bicycle appeared to be stolen, the affidavit says.
Authorities found the bicycle 68 feet south of Cash’s home concealed in thick bamboo.
2. Armstrong Was Located in Costa Rica; Surveillance Video Captured a Jeep Grand Cherokee Similar to Hers at the Murder Scene
According to the affidavit, Cash said that Colin Strickland was the man Wilson was going to swim with on the evening of the murder. He lives in Austin and is a professional cyclist sponsored by Red Bull.
Cash explained she has an electronic lock on her door that is unlocked by using a unique code. She receives a notification on her phone when the door has been unlocked. She had provided Wilson with the code and received a notification at 5:55 p.m. on the day of the homicide, indicating that is when Wilson locked the door to go swimming. She next received a notification at 8:36 p.m. to unlock the door, indicating she had returned.
Detectives found a surveillance camera near the crime scene. They observed a dark colored SUV drive past the residence at 8:37 p.m., one minute after Wilson entered Cash’s residence. It slowed down, appeared to come to a stop, directly next to Cash’s home. Daily Mail has published stills from the video, reporting that Armstrong is a yoga teacher.
It had a large bicycle rack mounted on the trailer hitch and other distinctive characteristics. Officers drove to Strickland’s residence and observed a 2012 Jeep Cherokee that was similar at the home.
The Austin Police Department “requested assistance from the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force – Austin Division to locate and apprehend Armstrong, who is an Austin resident. Members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force are actively conducting a fugitive investigation and pursuing leads on the whereabouts of Armstrong,” the news release says.
“Anyone with information on Armstrong’s whereabouts is urged to contact the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102 or submit a tip using the USMS Tips app. Tips may also be sent to the Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-893-8477.”
Many agencies participate in Austin’s Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, including the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Attorney General’s office, and various police departments.
The U.S. Marshals Service released a statement on June 30 about Armstrong’s capture. It reads:
The Austin woman accused of killing world class cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson May 11 has been captured in Costa Rica.
The U.S. Marshals Office of International Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, working with authorities in Costa Rica, located and arrested Kaitlin Marie Armstrong June 29 at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas.
Armstrong, 34, will be deported and returned to the U.S.
Members of the U.S. Marshals-led Lone Star Fugitive Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations recently discovered that Armstrong, using a fraudulent passport, had boarded United Airlines Flight 1222 from Newark International Airport at 5:09 p.m. EST on May 18 and arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica, at 8:27 p.m. EST.
“The Marshals Service elevated the Kaitlin Armstrong investigation to major case status early in this investigation, which likely played a key role in her capture after a 43-day run,” said U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Susan Pamerleau. “This is an example of combining the resources of local, state, federal and international authorities to apprehend a violent fugitive, bring an end to that run and hopefully a sense of closure to the victim’s family.”
The U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force located Armstrong’s black Jeep Grand Cherokee last week and learned that Armstrong sold the vehicle May 13 to a CarMax dealership in south Austin for $12,200 dollars. Armstrong was provided a check from the dealership a day after being questioned by Austin authorities. She departed the Austin airport on May 14.
Investigators learned that Armstrong was dropped off at the Newark Liberty International Airport on May 18, a day after Austin police issued a homicide warrant for her arrest.
She is suspected of the May 11 murder of Anna Moriah Wilson.
Police responding to a call at an east Austin residence May 11 discovered Wilson bleeding and unconscious from multiple gunshot wounds. They performed CPR on her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Wilson, 25, a Vermont native and world class cyclist, had been in Austin for a race.
The Austin Police Department requested assistance from the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force – Austin Division to locate and apprehend Armstrong. On May 17 Austin police issued a homicide warrant for Armstrong.
During the investigation it was learned through an interviewed source that Armstrong was provided transportation to the Newark Liberty International Airport on May 18. Investigators searched outbound flights at the Newark Airport and found no flight reservations under her name.
On May 25 investigators obtained an arrest warrant in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas for an Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution.
Investigators believe Armstrong was at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport on May 14 at approximately 12:30 p.m., and that she boarded Southwest Airlines Flight WN2262 from ABIA to Houston Hobby Airport, where she boarded a connecting SW Flight WN30 to New York LaGuardia Airport.
3. Strickland Told Police That He Had a Romantic Relationship With Wilson
CBS Austin reported that Wilson, who went by “Mo,” was “well-known in the cycling world as a talented gravel racer,” and was in Austin to “participate in a race near Dallas.”
Strickland agreed to an interview and stated he lives with his girlfriend Armstrong, 35. They were dating for three years but briefly ended their relationship for one to two weeks in October 2021, the affidavit states.
It further alleges:
During the break, Strickland said he met the victim, Wilson, and Wilson and Strickland had a romantic relationship before Strickland and Armstrong started dating again.
Strickland said that while he and Wilson were dating, Armstrong called Wilson the on the phone and stated she was the one who was dating Strickland. He had to change Wilson’s name in his phone so Armstrong did not know who he was speaking to as they continue their relationship. Armstrong had blocked Wilson’s number in Strickland’s phone. He also had to delete text messages on his phone to prevent Armstrong from finding them.
On the day of the murder, he picked Wilson up on his motorcycle at Cash’s residence and they went to the City of Austin Deep Eddy Poll. After swimming, they walked to Pool Burger to eat. After they ate, he drove Wilson back to Cash’s residence.
He did not go inside the home. He stopped his motorcycle and texted Armstrong at 8:36 p.m., writing, “Hey! Are you out? I went to drop some flowers for Alison at her sons house up north and my phone died. Heading home unless you have another food suggestion.” He lied to Armstrong, the records allege.
He said he arrived home at 8:43 p.m. He sent Armstrong another text. He went into the garage and began working on his bicycles. At 9:21, he wrote Armstrong another text. She arrived home shortly thereafter driving the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
He spoke highly of Wilson and her accomplishments during the police interview. She was a professional cyclist, and he was assisting her with obtaining sponsors. He said she was the best female cyclist in the U.S. and possibly the world.
He described Armstrong as a participant at bicycle races while he is a racer. He told Armstrong in the past that she does not need to ride with him because she “holds him back,” and she is not able to ride at a professional level.
Strickland admitted buying two firearms, one for himself and one for Armstrong between December 2021 and January 2022.
In a statement to a reporter for KVUE and the Austin American-Statesman, Strickland said there was “no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime. I am sorry, and I simply can not make sense of this unfathomable tragedy.” He said he had cooperated fully with investigators and said he had a brief a week-long romantic relationship with Wilson from late October through early November 2021 while she was visiting Austin. At the time, they had both decided to end relationships but after she returned to her home in California, he and Armstrong reconciled. He said he often saw Mo at cycling events and in public settings, including at competitions. After that point, he said that they had a platonic and professional relationship only and added that “it was not my intention to pursue along an auxiliary romantic relationship that would mislead anyone. Moriah and I were both leaders in this lonely, niche sport of Cycling, and I admired her greatly and considered her a close friend. I am deeply grieving her loss.”.
4. Armstrong Rolled Her Eyes in an ‘Angry Manner’ During a Police Interview
Armstrong was interviewed by police before she disappeared. The affidavit alleges:
She stated that Strickland walked into the house and said one of the women in the cycling community had passed away. She was “very still and did not move at all as they spoke” during the police interview. She was confronted with video evidence and had no explanation as to why the vehicle was in the area.
She rolled her eyes “in an angry manner” when confronted about how Strickland went out with Wilson.
She said, “I…I’m certain as to even what you mean or what he said because I didn’t have any idea that he saw or even went out with this girl… as of recently.”
The detective said “maybe you were upset and just in the area” and she began to nod in agreement. She nodded when the detective said things did not look too good. She then asked to leave the interview.
The detective contacted a friend of Wilson’s named Jane as a pseudonym. Jane advised Wilson and Strickland “have had multiple romantic relationships together and described it as an “on again, off again’ relationship.” It started during Wilson’s first trip to Austin, Texas in fall 2021. Armstrong discovered Wilson’s phone number and contacted her several times, causing Wilson to block her phone number. She said that Armstrong began following Wilson on Instagram. Armstrong called Wilson and told her she was with Strickland and Wilson needed to stay away from him.
5. A Tipster Claims Armstrong Wanted to Kill Wilson After ‘Shaking in Anger’
The affidavit further describes an anonymous caller who contacted Austin police after the murder and said she was with Armstrong in January when Armstrong discovered Strickland was having a romantic relationship with Wilson even though Armstrong and Strickland were still dating.
The caller advised Armstrong “became furious and was shaking in anger.” Armstrong told the caller Armstrong was so angry Armstrong wanted to kill Wilson.” She spoke of purchasing a firearm. There was a text message of an event where Wilson saw Strickland and Armstrong, and Wilson sent Strickland a message,
“Hey! Sooo I would like to talk to you at some point. I had originally texted you on Friday but appears my texts aren’t going through again. This weekend was strange for me and I just want to know what’s going on. If you just want to be friends (seems to be the case) then that’s cool, but I’d like to talk about it cause honestly my mind has been going circles and I don’t know what to think.”
The next day Strickland wrote, “Hey Mo- I feel very sh*tty for putting you in a position where you don’t feel comfortable. Kaitlin came along the go to a meeting about the sprinter/spartan hotel project. In hindsight, this was not a good idea.”
The affidavit says that based off of this conversation Wilson appeared “under the impression she was still in a romantic relationship with Strickland even though he was currently dating Armstrong.”
Authorities tested shell casings at the scene to one of the firearms Strickland bought and found that the “potential that the same firearm was involved are significant.:
Strickland said he had not spoken with Armstrong since May 13, 2022. She had deleted her social media accounts. For his part, video shows that Strickland left the area after dropping off Wilson and then arrived home.