More than a month has passed since Moriah “Mo” Wilson, a Vermont native and rising star in the cycling world, was killed in Austin, Texas.
The suspect in the case, Kaitlin Armstrong, 34, is still on the run, and police say she is considered armed and dangerous. And say she may be traveling under an assumed name.
Armstrong was brought in for questioning in the murder case, but she was released and has been on the run ever since. Now, investigators say tips have come in that allege Armstrong may be going by her sister’s name in New York state.
A police affidavit related to the case paints a picture of a love triangle gone wrong. According to the document, Wilson had met with the suspect’s boyfriend, fellow pro cyclist Colin Strickland, on May 11 — the night she was killed.
Wilson’s family believed she was not seeing anyone romantically. Still, investigators are looking at the case as a crime of passion.
Strickland, who said he briefly dated Wilson last fall, told police they went swimming and then to dinner. He says he then dropped her off at the home, where she was later found dead with multiple gunshot wounds.
Investigators say one minute after Wilson arrived home, security footage shows an SUV similar to Armstrong’s appearing to pull up outside. Detectives analyzed shell casings found at the scene of the killing against a gun belonging to Armstrong, writing in an affidavit, “The potential that the same firearm was involved is significant.”
Friends of Wilson described the 25-year-old as exceptional in every way. They say she will be missed forever.
On May 12, when officers confronted Armstrong with the video evidence, she reportedly provided no explanation and remained “very still and guarded.” Police later told her she was free to go.
Two days later, images showed Armstrong at an airport in Austin, Texas.
An anonymous tipster who police call credible said Armstrong discovered Strickland was romantically involved with Wilson and became “furious,” “shaking with anger” and wanted to “kill” her.
Police issued a warrant for Armstrong’s arrest May 17. U.S. marshals say Armstrong flew from Austin to Houston and then to New York City. On May 25, another warrant for Armstrong was obtained for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
The search for Armstrong has been designated as a U.S. Marshals Service major case, which brings in additional manpower to help further the investigation.
Susan Pamerleau, who is working the case with the U.S. Marshals Service in the Western District of Texas, says authorities won’t stop until Armstrong is in custody.
“The longer she is away, the less freedom she has. Because as we close in, that cuts off more and more options for her in terms of evading arrest,” Pamerleau said.
Pamerleau believes the longer Armstrong is on the run, the more dangerous she may become to the public.
“She’s suspected of committing murder. In a case like that, she may be getting more desperate, and as she does that, she may become more dangerous. Our intent is to find her as quickly as we can and to bring her into custody,” Pamerleau added.
Armstrong is described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing around 125 pounds. A $5,000 reward for information leading to her capture has been issued.
Anyone who sees Armstrong is urged to call 911 rather than approaching her.