Thursday, 11 Aug 2022

Woman wanted in killing cyclist who dated her boyfriend captured in Costa Rica

The woman suspected of fatally shooting professional cyclist Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson has been captured in Costa Rica after 43 days on the run from authorities.

Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, was arrested Wednesday at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, in connection with the May 11 shooting death of Wilson, 25, in Austin, Texas, the US Marshals Service said.

Police had issued a warrant for Armstrong’s arrest on May 17 on a first-degree murder charge in Wilson’s death after they discovered Wilson was romantically linked to Armstrong’s boyfriend, Colin Strickland, who is also a professional cyclist.

Wilson was found bleeding and unconscious with multiple gunshot wounds at a friend’s house in Austin, where she had traveled for a race.

Surveillance footage from the night of the shooting shows a car authorities believe to be Armstrong’s had arrived at the home shortly after Wilson returned from a dinner with Strickland.

Police brought Armstrong in the next day to be interviewed for an unrelated warrant, and then questioned her about Wilson’s death. She could not explain why her car was in the area at the time of the shooting and told officers she didn’t know Strickland had been with Wilson that day.

Despite the warrant for an unrelated misdemeanor, Armstrong was released from police custody over a technical error.

As police investigated Wilson’s death, signs pointed back to Armstrong, including tips that the 34-year-old had told the cyclist to ‘stay away’ from her boyfriend.

Police then issued a warrant for her arrest on May 17, days after she had fled the state.

Last week, US Marshals located Armstrong’s car, which she sold on May 13 before flying out of an Austin airport. Officials believe she boarded a Southwest Airlines flight to Houston Hobby Airport before connecting on a flight to New York LaGuardia Airport.

From there she was provided transportation to Newark Liberty International Airport and boarded a plane to Costa Rica using a fraudulent passport, according to US Marshals.

The investigation had been upgraded to ‘major case status’ early on, ‘which likely played a key role in her capture after a 43-day run,’ said Susan Pamerleau, the US Marshal for the Western District of Texas.

‘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,’ Pamerleau said.

Wilson, a rising star in gravel racing, had been involved with Strickland for about a week last fall after he split with Armstrong, who he had dated for three years, police said. At the time of Wilson’s death, Armstrong and Strickland had rekindled their relationship and lived together.

Wilson’s family said in a statement that ‘at the time of her death, she was not in a romantic relationship with anyone.’ Strickland was not considered a suspect because security footage and other evidence showed he was elsewhere at the time of her death.

The operation to apprehend Armstrong involved members of the U.S. Marshals Office of International Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, along with Costa Rican authorities.

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