Police are searching for a Texas woman who is accusing of killing a pro cyclist who had been allegedly romantically involved with her boyfriend.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, who is from Austin, is wanted for the suspected murder of Anna Moriah "Mo" Wilson, 25, a Vermont native and competitive gravel and mountain cyclist who was in town while traveling for a race. The U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force is currently conducting a fugitive investigation to try to find Armstrong, who has deleted her social media.
According to an affidavit posted by the Austin American-Statesman, fellow cyclist Colin Strickland said he and Wilson were briefly romantically involved last fall while he was temporarily broken up with Armstrong, his live-in girlfriend. He has not been accused of wrongdoing.
Wilson had stayed at friend Caitlin Cash's home in Austin. Cash told police that on the night of May 11, she returned to find Wilson lying on the bathroom floor covered in blood. Cash called the police and performed CPR on Wilson, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. She appeared to have multiple gunshot wounds and officers found multiple fired cartridge shell cases on the floor, the affidavit states.
Possible video evidence
Cash also also said Wilson's bicycle appeared to be stolen and police later found it about 68 feet south of the home, concealed in thick bamboo.
Police noted in the affidavit that a surveillance video showed a dark colored SUV bearing a bicycle rack stop near the home one minute after Wilson entered it. On May 12, a day after the alleged murder, U.S. Marshalls found a 2012 Jeep Cherokee bearing a bicycle rack at Strickland's address. He told police that he lives with Armstrong and that the SUV belongs to her.
Colin Strickland speaks out
"Moriah Wilson and I had a brief romantic relationship from late October-early November 2021 that spanned a week or so while Wilson was visiting Austin," Strickland, 35, told The Austin American-Statesman in a statement on May 20. "At the time, she and I had both recently ended relationships. She returned to her home in California and about a month later, Kaitlin Armstrong and I reconciled and resumed our relationship. After our brief relationship in October of 2021, [Wilson and I] were not in a romantic relationship, only a platonic and professional one."
Strickland added, "There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime." He also said he has "cooperated fully with investigators" and will "continue to do so until some form of justice is served."
Armstrong allegedly confronted Wilson about dating Strickland
According to the affidavit, Strickland told police he has dated Armstrong for approximately three years and that they briefly ended their relationship for one to two weeks in October 2021. He said that during their breakup, he met Wilson. "Strickland advised that while he and Wilson were dating, Armstrong called Wilson on the phone, telling Wilson she was the one who was dating Strickland," the affidavit added.
Police were alerted to Strickland because Cash told them that on the day of the alleged murder, Wilson texted her to say she planned to meet with him to go swimming. Strickland told the cops that he picked Wilson up from Cash's apartment on his motorcycle and that after they went swimming, they had dinner and he drove them back and dropped her off at the residence without entering himself, and then he left to go home.
Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts that day, telling her in a text that he went to drop flowers off for someone, and that his phone had died, the affidavit stated. He told police that Armstrong later arrived at their house, driving the 2012 Jeep Cherokee, alone.
What Armstrong told police
Police confronted Armstrong about how Strickland was "taking to this girl" and presented her with the surveillance video. She "had no explanation" but also "did not make any denials surrounding the statements presented to her." She was not arrested or charged. She ended the interview and was permitted to leave.
On May 14, an anonymous caller told Austin police that Armstrong had learned in January that Strickland was romantically involved with Wilson while he was still dating Armstrong. The caller said Armstrong was "furious," "shaking in anger," said she "wanted to kill Wilson" and said she had either purchased a firearm or was going to.
Potential murder weapon found
Police located two different 9mm handguns in the couple's home. Strickland told them he had bought them for himself and Armstrong between December and January, the affidavit said. Authorities also noted that lab testing showed there was "significant" potential that the fired shell casings found at the alleged murder scene came from Armstrong's gun.
Austin police issued a homicide warrant for Armstrong on May 17.
Wilson's family issued a statement about her death, saying, per VeloNews, "We thank everyone for their expression of love and support for us in this difficult time. While the tragic loss of Moriah is unfathomable, at the same time we want everyone to join us in celebrating her life, accomplishments, and love for others. Always pushing tirelessly to reach her goals, we knew she was pursuing that which she loved. We will miss her terribly and know that all mourn her with us."