CRIME

Suspect in killing of elite cyclist used someone else’s passport in escape to Costa Rica, officials say. Here’s how authorities say she was caught

Jul 3, 2022, 3:48 PM | Updated: 3:48 pm
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the woman accused of murdering elite cyclist, Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson,...
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the woman accused of murdering elite cyclist, Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, is believed to have traveled to New York City on May 14. (Credit: US Marshals)
(Credit: US Marshals)

(CNN) — The woman accused of killing an elite cyclist in Texas used someone else’s passport to flee to Costa Rica, where she changed her hair length and color to avoid authorities, according to the US Marshals Service.

Authorities say they found Kaitlin Marie Armstrong at a hostel in Costa Rica on Wednesday. She’s facing extradition to the United States to face murder charges in the death of Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who was shot May 11.

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

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

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

May 12: Austin police apprehend Armstrong on an unrelated warrant. They release her after learning the warrant is invalid.

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

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

May 17: Police issue a homicide warrant for Armstrong. It says a vehicle similar to hers was shown on video surveillance near the home 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 is found in her name.

May 19: An arrest warrant says Strickiland told police he tried 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 issue a separate, federal warrant for 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 separated from Armstrong. He tells the newspaper that he and Armstrong reconciled and that he considered Wilson a “platonic” and “close friend.”

 

Found 6 weeks later in another country, with another look

 

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

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

He also reveals further details about the weeks-long search:

 Armstrong previously “resembled” the person whose passport she used to flee the country. Filla does not say how Armstrong got the passport or if its rightful owner gave it to her.

 After authorities learned of the name Armstrong might have been using to travel, US Marshals “worked with Homeland Security and looked at flight passenger lists.” They found the name matching that passport on a May 18 flight from Newark to San José, Costa Rica.

• They then scoured the surveillance cameras for the specific airport gate the flight left from and “ID’d Kaitlin Armstrong” boarding.

• US Marshals contacted Costa Rican authorities, who located Armstrong at the hostel and detained her on 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 is also facing an added federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Armstrong has been returned to Texas and was being held at the Harris County Jail awaiting extradition to Austin, US Marshals said Saturday.

When she arrives in Austin, she’ll be held with bond set at $3.5 million, court records in Texas’ Travis County show.

It’s unclear if anyone else aided Armstrong in her efforts to evade the US Marshals, but Filla says “they are not ruling out others being charged” depending on where their investigation takes them.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Crime

FILE PHOTO...
Tina Burnside, Kiely Westhoff and Amya Henry, CNN

Suspect in the shooting deaths of 4 people in Ohio was captured in Kansas

A suspect in the shooting deaths of four people at multiple sites outside of Dayton Ohio, has been arrested, police said.
1 day ago
Barricades block off a portion of Elm Street in Laurel, Nebraska, where four people were found dead...
Rebekah Riess, Raja Razek and Jarrod Wardwell, CNN

Arrest in quadruple homicide after victims are found dead in 2 house fires in a small Nebraska town

The suspect in a Nebraska quadruple homicide where the victims were found dead in two separate house fires has been hospitalized with burns over much of his body.
1 day ago
Everett Police in Washington state is hoping the public can help identify the man that stiffed an 1...
Claudia Dominguez, CNN

Donations pour in after Washington boy was ripped off with counterfeit bill at his lemonade stand

Washington police are hoping the public can help identify the man that stiffed an 11-year-old boy with a fake $100 bill to buy lemonade from his stand.
1 day ago
The aftermath of a suspect who stole an excavator and started to rip up the ground....
Michael Houck & Michael Locklear

Police: Man steals excavator, tears up ground outside grocery store

A man is facing felony charges after stealing an excavator and causing damage to public utilities Saturday afternoon. 
1 day ago
New York City Police detectives shot and injured four men they say opened fire at a party in Queens...
Zenebou Sylla and Samantha Beech, CNN

Police shoot and injure four men who opened fire at crowded NYC house party

New York City Police detectives shot and injured four men, they say, opened fire at a party in Queens, where around 75 to 100 people were gathered.
1 day ago
Police said they are searching for Stephen Marlow, who was named by the Butler Township police chie...
Kiely Westhoff and Amya Henry, CNN

Ohio police searching for man in connection of killing 4 at multiple crime scenes

Four people were fatally shot Friday at multiple sites in a small Ohio town as police search for a possible armed and dangerous suspect.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Suspect in killing of elite cyclist used someone else’s passport in escape to Costa Rica, officials say. Here’s how authorities say she was caught