By Emma Tucker and Rebekah Riess, CNN
Updated: Thu, 23 Jun 2022 21:01:22 GMT
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the woman suspected of fatally shooting 25-year-old elite cyclist Anna Moriah "Mo" Wilson in Texas in May, sold her Jeep to an Austin dealership, the US Marshals Service said Thursday.
Investigators from the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force learned that Armstrong sold her black Jeep Grand Cherokee to a CarMax dealership for $12,000 on May 13, the day after Austin authorities questioned her, a Marshals' statement said. She boarded the flight out of Austin the next day.
Armstrong, 34, is a real estate agent and yoga teacher based in an Austin, Texas, and now a fugitive. She is wanted for the May 11 shooting of Wilson, who had previously dated Armstrong's boyfriend -- 35-year-old professional cyclist Colin Strickland -- in what investigators believe may have been a violent act of romantic jealousy.
Here is what we know about the case:
On May 11, the day of the killing, Wilson told her friend she was going for an afternoon swim with Strickland, days before the Gravel Locos race in Hico, where she was staying with a friend, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Travis County District Court.
Strickland told investigators after they swam, he and Wilson got dinner, and he then dropped her off at her friend's home. He said he did not go inside, the affidavit shows. Austin Police responded to the home later that evening, shortly before 10 p.m. CT, and found Wilson with multiple gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
On May 12, the Travis County Medical Examiner's autopsy of Wilson's body determined the official cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds, and the manner of death was a homicide. Within 24 hours of Wilson's death, officers from the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force apprehended Armstrong in connection with an unrelated arrest warrant and spoke to her.
However, Austin Police said they then learned Armstrong's arrest warrant was not valid and told her she was free to leave.
On May 13, Armstrong sold her black Jeep Grand Cherokee to a CarMax dealership in south Austin for $12,200. She was given a check by the dealership a day after being questioned by Austin authorities, according to the US Marshals' Office.
On May 14, Armstrong was at Austin International Bergstrom Airport early in the afternoon. There, she boarded a flight to Houston Hobby Airport, where she took a connecting flight to LaGuardia Airport in New York. The Austin Police Department said in a news release that the shooting did not appear to be "a random act."
On May 17, police issued a homicide warrant for Armstrong. The affidavit for her arrest points in part to video surveillance obtained by investigators that shows a vehicle similar to hers near the home shortly before Wilson's body was found.
Armstrong was seen on May 18 at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to the US Marshals. However, no reservations were made under her name, the Marshals said, citing a search of outbound flights at the airport.
A May 19 arrest affidavit filed by police in Travis County District Court reveals that Strickland admitted to trying to hide his communications with Wilson from Armstrong by changing Wilson's name on his phone and deleting texts. The affidavit cites a tipster who alleged Armstrong came to believe Strickland and Wilson's romantic relationship was ongoing as of January 2022.
Armstrong had contacted Wilson several times and in one instance told her to "stay away" from Strickland, one of Wilson's friends told investigators, according to the affidavit.
On May 25, authorities obtained a separate, federal warrant for Armstrong for "unlawful flight to avoid prosecution," the US Marshals said, upgrading the search for Armstrong to "major case status." That same day, Strickland is quoted by the Austin American-Statesman as saying that he had a "brief romantic relationship" with Wilson from late October to early November 2021, while he was separated from Armstrong.
Strickland and Armstrong reconciled and resumed their relationship about a month later, he told the paper. His relationship with Wilson then became "platonic and professional" and he considered her a "close friend," he said.