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Federal authorities are searching for a woman they believe killed a famed cyclist after discovering messages between her boyfriend and the victim.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 35, is wanted for fatally shooting Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, 25, at an east Austin, Texas, residence on May 11, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. An arrest affidavit reviewed by Oxygen.com states surveillance video captured Armstrong’s 2012 Jeep Cherokee stopping at the Maple Avenue residence the same night a friend found Wilson suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Officers with the Austin Police Department responded to the scene at around 9:56 p.m. Despite life-saving measures, Wilson succumbed to her injuries at around 10:10 p.m.
Wilson was a professional cyclist from Vermont who was visiting Austin from San Francisco to race in the Gravel Locos competition on May 14 in Hico, Texas, as the victim discussed in a VeloNews article published the day of her death. Friends told authorities Wilson left to meet fellow professional cyclist Colin Strickland, 35, of Austin, shortly before 6:00 p.m., according to the affidavit.
Strickland cooperated with authorities during a May 12 interview, confirming he met Wilson at the City of Austin Deep Eddy Pool. He also told authorities he lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts.
Strickland explained he lived with Armstrong but that during a temporary separation in October, he had a “romantic relationship” with Wilson before getting back together with Armstrong.
“Strickland advised while he and Wilson were dating, Armstrong called Wilson on the phone, telling Wilson she was the one who was dating Strickland,” Austin Police Det. Richard Spitler stated in the affidavit.
Strickland also stored Wilson's information on his phone under a different name “so Armstrong does not know who he is speaking to, as they continue their relationship,” the affidavit stated.
Strickland confirmed the relationship with Wilson when he released a statement published by ABC Austin affiliate KVUE reporter Tony Plohetski.
“After our brief relationship in October of 2021, we were not in a romantic relationship, only a platonic and professional one,” Strickland stated. “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.”
Witnesses claimed Armstrong learned about the rendezvous in January, resulting in her becoming “furious” and “shaking with anger,” per the affidavit. Armstrong allegedly said that she was so angry that she “wanted to kill Wilson.”
Austin Police interviewed Armstrong on May 12, confronting her with the video showing her vehicle at the crime scene, according to the affidavit. Police stated Armstrong “made no effort to deny what was being said and still provided no explanation as to why her vehicle would be there.”
“Armstrong then requested to leave, so the interview was ended.”
Wilson was a rising star in the world of gravel cycling, an off-road hybrid of road cycling and mountain biking, according to Bike Radar. Her family released a statement, as published by ABC News, expressing their grief and Wilson’s impact on the athletic community.
“Her life was taken from her before she had the opportunity to achieve everything she dreamed of,” the statement read, in part. “With her visibility and presence in the cycling world, she wanted to empower young women athletes, encourage people of all walks of life to find joy and meaning through sport and community, and inspire all to chase their dreams.”
An arrest warrant charging Kaitlin Armstrong with first-degree murder was issued on Tuesday after ballistics experts compared the suspect’s 9mm handgun to shell casings found at the murder scene. Experts determined that “the potential that the same firearm was involved is significant.”
The U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force and the Austin Police Department are actively searching for Armstrong and any information on her whereabouts. Anyone with information can contact 1-800-336-0102 or Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-893-8477.
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