Kaitlin Armstrong, accused of killing an elite cyclist, is jailed in Costa Rica after 43 days



CNN

The woman suspected of fatally shooting elite cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Texas has been arrested in Costa Rica, the US Marshals Office said Thursday.

Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, was found Wednesday at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Puntarenas Province, the Marshals Office said in a press release. She will be deported and returned to the US, the agency said.

Armstrong was wanted for the May 11 shooting of Wilson, who had previously been in a relationship with Armstrong’s boyfriend — 35-year-old professional cyclist Colin Strickland — in what investigators say may have been a violent act of romantic jealousy.

On May 17, police issued a manslaughter warrant against Armstrong. The affidavit lists details such as a video showing a vehicle similar to hers near the Austin, Texas home where Wilson stayed shortly before her body was found.

On May 18, Armstrong used a fraudulent passport to board a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to San Jose, Costa Rica, the US Marshals said.

Wilson, 25, was a gifted multisport athlete. She was a standout skier in her younger years before transitioning to cycling.

Mo Wilson switched from skiing to cycling after college.

“In downhill skiing, Moriah rose to the level of a nationally ranked junior skier and finished 3rd in the 2013 US Junior National Championship Downhill event,” her obituary reads.

Wilson was also the captain of her high school soccer team, according to her athletic profile at Dartmouth.

After her studies, she switched from skiing to competitive cycling.

Wilson particularly excelled at “gravel racing,” a relatively new category of bicycles that some consider to be a hybrid of road and mountain biking.

A profile in VeloNews, published the day she died, called her “the winningest woman in the American off-road scene.”

Wilson had several wins this year, including the Shasta Gravel Hugger and Rock Cobbler in California, according to the article. She also won the 137-mile Belgian Waffle Ride with 25 minutes over second.

At the time of her death, Wilson was just days away from competing in the Gravel Locos bicycle race. The day after the race, an event organizer recalled her on Facebook as a “role model, a shy compassionate person, a feisty tactical racer and a competitor who genuinely cared about those who compete against you.”

On May 11, the day of her death, Wilson told her boyfriend she was going for an afternoon swim with Strickland, according to an affidavit filed with the Travis County court. Wilson was staying with a friend as she prepared for the upcoming Gravel Locos race in Hico.

Strickland told the researchers that after they swam, he and Wilson ate. After that, Strickland said, he dropped her off at her boyfriend’s house but didn’t go inside, according to the affidavit.

Austin Police Department responded later in the evening, shortly before 10:00 p.m. CT, and found Wilson with multiple gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead on the spot.

On May 19, authorities filed an affidavit saying that Strickland admitted to trying to hide his communications with Wilson from Armstrong by changing Wilson’s name on his phone and deleting texts.

The affidavit cites a tipster who claimed that Armstrong had come to believe that Strickland and Wilson’s romantic relationship had been going on from January 2022.

Armstrong had contacted Wilson several times, and in one instance told her to “stay away” from Strickland, one of Wilson’s friends told investigators, according to the affidavit.

Strickland is quoted by the Austin American-Statesman as saying he had a “brief romantic relationship” with Wilson from late October to early November 2021, while he was separated from Armstrong.

Wilson’s family said she was not in a romantic relationship at the time of her death.

“While we won’t dwell on the ongoing investigation, we feel it is important to clarify that at the time of her death, those closest to her clearly understood, directly from Moriah, that she was not in a romantic relationship with anyone,” he said. the spokesman. the family said in a statement last month.

Strickland and Armstrong reconciled and resumed their relationship about a month later, he told the newspaper. Strickland said his relationship with Wilson then became “platonic and professional” and he considered her a “close friend,” he said.

“There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel for my closeness to this horrific crime,” Strickland told the Austin American-Statesman. “I’m sorry, and I just can’t understand this unfathomable situation.”