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Elite cyclist murder suspect used someone else’s passport to escape to Costa Rica, officials say. This is how the authorities say she was caught

Authorities say they found Kaitlin Marie Armstrong at a hostel in Costa Rica on Wednesday. She faces extradition to the United States for the murder of Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who was gunned down on May 11.

Wilson briefly dated Armstrong’s boyfriend, a professional cyclist, and researchers say romantic jealousy may have been a motivating factor.

Here’s a timeline of the case, from Wilson’s death to the arrest of Armstrong, a 34-year-old real estate agent and yoga teacher from Austin, Texas.

11 May: Wilson is found dead with multiple gunshot wounds at a friend’s house. She had told her boyfriend that she was going for an afternoon swim with Colin Strickland, 35, a professional cyclist and Armstrong’s boyfriend. He tells police that he and Wilson swam and ate, and that he dropped her off at the boyfriend’s house, according to an affidavit in the Travis County courthouse.

May 12th: Austin police are arresting Armstrong on an unrelated warrant. They release her after learning that the warrant is invalid.

13 May: Armstrong sells her black Jeep Grand Cherokee for $12,200.

May 14: Armstrong flies from Austin to Houston to New York City.

US Marshals are looking for a fugitive yoga teacher suspected of murdering an elite cyclist. This is what the evidence shows

May 17: The police issue a murder warrant for Armstrong. It says a vehicle similar to hers was shown on video surveillance near the house shortly before Wilson’s body was found.

May 18: Armstrong is seen at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, according to the US Marshals Service. No reservation was found in her name.

May 19: According to an arrest warrant, Strickiland told police he was trying to hide his communications with Wilson from Armstrong. It says Armstrong told Wilson to “stay away” from Strickland, one of Wilson’s friends told police.

May 25: Authorities are issuing a separate federal order against Armstrong for “unlawful flight to avoid prosecution”. Strickland tells the Austin American-Statesman that he had a “brief romantic relationship” with Wilson last year while he was separated from Armstrong. He tells the paper that he and Armstrong reconciled and that he considered Wilson a “platonic” and “close friend.”

Found 6 weeks later in another country, with a different look

June 29: Authorities arrest Armstrong at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Puntarenas Province, according to the US Marshals Office.

Wilson switched from skiing to cycling after college.

June 30th: Austin-based Deputy Marshal Brandon Filla tells CNN Armstrong “has drastically changed her appearance.” Her long blonde hair is now “shoulder-length and dark brown,” he says.

He also reveals more details about the weeklong search:

Armstrong more “looked” like the person whose passport she used to flee the country. Filla does not say how Armstrong got the passport or whether the rightful owner gave it to her.

After authorities learned of the name Armstrong may have used to travel, “US marshals worked with Homeland Security and reviewed passenger lists.” They found the name matching that passport on a May 18 flight from Newark to San Jose, Costa Rica.

They then searched the surveillance cameras for the specific airport gate from which the flight departed and “identified Kaitlin Armstrong” on board.

US Marshals contacted Costa Rican authorities, who located Armstrong at the hostel and arrested her for an immigration violation for using a fraudulent passport to enter the country.

What’s next: Filla says Armstrong will face a murder charge upon her return to Austin. She also faces an additional federal charge for illegal flight to avoid prosecution.

Armstrong has been returned to Texas and held in the Harris County Jail pending extradition to Austin, US Marshals said Saturday.

When she arrives in Austin, she is detained with $3.5 million bail, court records at the Travis County show in Texas.

It’s unclear if anyone else helped Armstrong in her efforts to evade the US Marshals, but Filla says “they don’t rule out charges against others,” depending on where their investigation takes them.

Emma Tucker, Rebekah Riess, Holly Yan and Jennifer Henderson of CNN contributed to this report.

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