- Federal, state and local authorities are searching for Kaitlin Marie Armstrong of Austin, Texas, who is wanted in connection with the murder of Anna Moriah Wilson.
- Wilson, a professional cyclist, had come to Texas for a race and was found dead May 11 at an Austin home.
- Police think a love triangle involving another pro cyclist, Colin Strickland, may have led to the killing.
Federal agents and police continue to search for a woman suspected in the fatal May 11 shooting of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson in Austin, Texas.
Austin police issued a murder warrant for Kaitlyn Marie Armstrong, 34, on May 17, in connection with Wilson’s death. Wilson, 25, was found dead, the victim of multiple apparent gunshot wounds in an East Austin home where she was staying before a race in Hico, Texas, northwest of Waco.
According to an arrest warrant, Armstrong’s SUV was seen on surveillance video outside the home where Wilson was found shot to death. Police questioned Armstrong the day after the shooting, but did not immediately issue a warrant. Armstrong’s boyfriend said she had not been seen since May 13, police said.
The US Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force on May 20 asked for the public’s help in locating Armstrong as part of a “fugitive investigation.”
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Who was Mo Wilson?
Anna Moriah Wilson, who was known as Mo, was a Vermont native, according to The Austin American-Statesmanpart of the USA TODAY Network. A rising star in the world of competitive gravel and mountain bike racing, as New York Times reported, she was the favorite to win the upcoming Texas event.
Wilson had won several races in 2022 and had “emerged in the last two seasons as a dominant gravel and mountain bike racer,” said VeloNews. Wilson had recently told the cycling site she had resigned from her job at Ella at Bay Area cycle company Specialized to race full time. As part of her upcoming summer of racing, Wilson planned a trip to East Africa for a race.
A competitive skier growing up in East Burke, Vermont, Wilson skied and played soccer at Dartmouth College where she earned a degree in engineering.
Wilson’s family said she had recently decided to move from San Francisco back to Vermont, and the family said in a statement that she was not in a relationship with anyone at the time of her death.
Who is Colin Strickland? What do we know about an alleged love triangle?
Colin Strickland is also a professional cyclist. In a statement to the American-Statesman, Strickland said he had a brief relationship with Wilson after meeting her in Austin in October. That fling, which lasted about a week, he said, came during a break in an ongoing three-year relationship with Armstrong. When he got back together with Armstrong, Strickland said his relationship with Wilson became platonic and professional.
On the day Wilson died, Strickland told police he picked up Wilson on his motorcycle at about 6 pm and took her to go swimming at Deep Eddy Pool. He dropped her off of her at the home about 8:30 pm, police said.
Strickland has cooperated with investigators and is not a suspect.
Police said a tipster told detectives that when Armstrong learned in January about Strickland’s relationship with Wilson, she “became furious and was shaking in anger.” The tipster told police Armstrong said she wanted to kill Wilson.
Strickland told police he had bought two firearms between December 2021 and January 2022: a 9 mm handgun for himself, and one for Armstrong.
“There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime,” Strickland said. “I am sorry, and I simply cannot make sense of this unfathomable situation.”
His statement also said: “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, actual sport of cycling, and I admired her greatly and considered her a close friend. I am deeply grieving her loss.”
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Who is Kaitlin Marie Armstrong?
Armstrong, a realtor and yoga teacher in Austin, may still be in the area, police told Austin NBC affiliate KXAN. According to the affidavit and application for arrest warrant filed by police, Armstrong’s SUV was seen on surveillance video outside the home where Wilson was found shot to death.
When asked by police Armstrong on May 13 about the vehicle, she “continued to remain very still and guarded,” then asked to leave and was allowed to do so because the misdemeanor warrant she had been picked up on was not valid, police said.
Armstrong has not been seen since then and her social media accounts have been deleted. Police have not found her de ella black de ella 2012 Jeep Cherokee (Texas license plate LDZ5608); they believe she could still be driving it or it could be abandoned.
During a search of the home where Armstrong lives with Strickland, police said they found a 9mm handgun belonging to Armstrong. Police compared shell cases from that gun with those found where Wilson was killed and said there is “significant” potential the firearm was used in the incident.
The US Marshals Service issued a wanted poster for Armstrong on May 20 asking the public to call 800-336-0102 if they have any information about her or see the SUV.
Armstrong’s father, Michael Armstrong, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview broadcast Tuesday that he doesn’t believe that his daughter could have killed Wilson. He said there are many “unanswered questions” about what happened.
“I know her. I know how she thinks and I know what she believes. And I know that she just would not do something like this,” he said.
What is a ‘fugitive investigation’
When police are searching for fugitives wanted in felony crimes, law enforcement agencies team up to spread a wider net in the search. There are several regional permanent task forces across the US ready to assist when needed.
In this case the US Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force is assisting in the Austin Police Department.
Other involved agencies include the Travis, Caldwell, Hays, Williamson, and Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office’s, the Georgetown and Round Rock Police Departments, Texas Attorney General’s Office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Office of the Inspector General, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Department of Homeland Security (Immigration & Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations).
Contributing: Ryan Autullo, Nate Chute and Tony Plohetski of the Austin American-Statesman; The Associated Press.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism