AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the U.S. Marshals continue their search for Kaitlin Armstrong, the woman accused of murdering a professional cyclist in Austin earlier this month, here’s a look at what happened May 11 and the potential motives behind the fatal attack.
May 11 — Woman found dead in east Austin home
Late May 11, Austin Police responded to a 911 call in east Austin to a residence along Maple Avenue. Police found an unconscious woman with a gunshot wound, who died from her injuries at the scene.
May 12 — Austin Police question Kaitlin Armstrong on shooting
The Austin Police Department questioned Armstrong on May 12, Detective Richard Spitler confirmed in an APD news conference Tuesday. Questions centered around Armstrong’s Jeep, which was in the area near the east Austin home around the time of Wilson’s death.
According to Spitler, Armstrong “wouldn’t confirm or deny being in the area” and ended the interview.
“Armstrong was mistakenly released from custody on [a] misdemeanor warrant, because her date of birth in our report management system did not match the date of birth on the warrant,” Spitler said.
Details of that prior misdemeanor warrant weren’t available at the time of Tuesday’s press conference.
May 14 — East Austin shooting victim identified
Three days later, police identified the woman as Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, a professional cyclist known for her gravel and mountain bike racing. She had been visiting Texas to compete in the Gravel Locos race 135 miles north of Austin in Hico, cycling outlet VeloNews reported.
May 14 — Armstrong flies from Austin to New York
Around 12:30 p.m. on May 14, Armstrong flew from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to the Houston Hobby Airport before connecting to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, the U.S. Marshals confirmed Wednesday. Surveillance footage depict her passing through AUS.
KXAN asked Spitler if her prior misdemeanor warrant would have prevented her from flying. Spitler told KXAN that’s unlikely since it was a misdemeanor and not a felony.
May 17 — Arrest warrant issued for Armstrong
APD issued a search warrant for a south Austin home owned by a woman under the same name as Armstrong. According to an arrest affidavit, Armstrong is accused of first-degree murder.
Court records detail Wilson went for a swim with a friend, a fellow professional cyclist named Colin Strickland, the night of her death.
Strickland told police he’d been in a relationship with Armstrong for three years, according to documents. During a break in their relationship, he met and began dating Wilson, per the affidavit.
Strickland and Armstrong were living together and police said Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts May 11. He told her he’d dropped flowers off for someone and his phone died.
Strickland dropped Wilson off at the east Austin home around 8:35 p.m. May 11, per documents. One minute later, security camera footage showed Armstrong’s car pull up. Strickland separately confirmed the car shown in the security footage was Armstrong’s.
According to the arrest affidavit, “Armstrong has deleted her social media accounts and has not been seen or heard from since last Friday, May 13.”
May 20 — Federal agents begin search for Armstrong
On May 20, the U.S. Marshals Service issued a wanted poster for Armstrong. The U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force entered the search and is “conducting a fugitive investigation and pursuing leads on Armstrong’s whereabouts.”
U.S. Marshals described Armstrong as white, 5’8″ tall and weighing around 125 pounds. She has long, curly, light brown hair and hazel eyes.
Anyone with tips on Armstrong’s location is asked to contact the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1 (800) 336-0102 or submit a tip via the USMS Tips app. Tips can also be submitted to the Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 893-8477.
May 21 — Wilson’s family clears up details of alleged relationship with Strickland
On May 21, Wilson’s family issued a statement to KXAN clarifying details surrounding Wilson’s alleged romantic relationship with Strickland.
“While we will not elaborate about the ongoing investigation, we do feel it’s 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,” the family wrote in the statement.
Investigators said based on a search of Wilson’s phone, text messages indicated she was “still in a romantic relationship with Strickland even though he was currently dating Armstrong.”
The family’s statement contradicted investigators’ assessment.
“We are absolutely devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter and sister, Anna Moriah Wilson. There are no words that can express the pain and suffering we are experiencing due to this senseless, tragic loss. Moriah was a talented, kind, and caring young woman. Her life was taken from her before she had the opportunity to achieve everything she dreamed of. Our family, and all those who loved her, will forever miss her,” the family wrote.
May 23 — Memorial ride in Wilson’s memory announced
On May 23, cyclists from across Austin announced a planned memorial ride in Wilson’s memory. The ride, scheduled for May 29, will kick off at Republic Square in downtown Austin at 5:30 p.m.
Event organizers encouraged participants to donate to the Wilson family’s Mo Wilson Fund, with proceeds dedicated to helping kids build up their confidence via sports.
May 25 — U.S. Marshals confirm Armstrong fled Austin after crime
In a press conference Wednesday, U.S. Marshals confirmed for the first time the detail that Armstrong had flown from Austin to New York three days after the crime.
Security footage from AUS shows Armstrong was last seen wearing a blue denim jacket, a black shirt with a pink design on her chest, white jeans, black-and-white sneakers and a black COVID-19 mask, along with a yoga mat holder over her shoulders.
This update came after U.S. Marshals previously said she was still believed to be in the Austin area due to her community ties.