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July 05, 2022
A suspect in the murder of off-road gravel cyclist, Anna Moriah Wilson, was apprehended in Costa Rica this week after 43 days on the run from authorities.
In 2013, when Wilson was a teenager, she was ranked third in the Junior National Skiing Championship Downhill. She went on to become a member of the Alpine Ski Team while at Dartmouth College where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering. From there, after graduating from college, Wilson moved onto cycling with a focus on gravel racing, which, as a naturally talented athlete, she exceeded in. Wilson was a professional bike racer and a demand planner for Gravel Bike company, Specialized.
Anna Moriah Wilson was found in a pool of her own blood with multiple gunshot wounds on May 11, 2022. At the time she was slain, she was preparing to participate in the Gravel Locos cycling event, a 150-mile gravel bike race in Texas, which she was expected to win, when she was fatally shot.
On May 18, one week after the murder, Armstrong boarded a flight from Newark to San José with a fake passport. The passport, although a legitimate document, did not belong to Armstrong.
An arrest affidavit states that Kaitlin Armstrong committed Murder (First Degree Felony) in Travis County, Texas, on or about 05-11-2022.
Police responded to an urgent welfare call just before 10PM on May 11 to find Anna Wilson injured and unconscious at 1708 Maple Avenue in Travis County, Texas. The caller, identified as Caitlin Cash, had been performing CPR on the victim, to no avail. Less than fifteen minutes later, Wilson was pronounced dead.
Cash and Wilson were friends, and both were professional cyclists. Wilson had been visiting Cash at the time she was murdered. That day, the victim said she was going to meet up with a friend named Colin Strickland, a fellow professional cyclist who resided in Austin, Texas. Wilson said the that two had planned to go swimming together.
Caitlin Cash did her own thing that day, grabbing dinner with friends after leaving her home at approximately 5:30PM. As she was leaving, she noticed Wilson had left her expensive bicycle and travel bag standing on the porch and told her to bring it inside before she left for fear of it being stolen. When Cash came back some time later, she noticed the travel bag was still sitting at the bottom of the stairs, but the bicycle was not. She entered her apartment and instantly noticed that the door was unlocked. Cash soon discovered Wilson covered in her own blood in the bathroom and quickly made a call from the scene of the crime.
Officers searched the radius of the home and found Wilson’s bike hidden in a patch of bamboo around 70 feet from Cash’s residence.
The door to Cash's residence could only be used by someone who knew the code and each time it was used Cash would be notified via an alert to her phone. The app recorded the door closing at 5:55PM, which Cash assumed to be Wilson leaving the home to meet with Colin to go swimming. the door was then opened, using the code, at 8:36PM, which Cash assumed was Wilson returning.
Police obtained surveillance footage from a nearby home where they saw a black SUV with a bicycle rack on the roof approach the apartment at 8:36PM, one minute after the last alert to Cash’s phone.
Officers travelled to Colin Strickland's address to find three vehicles parked on the driveway, including a Jeep with a bicycle rack mounted on the roof and the same chrome piped windows as the SUV in the footage, registration LDZ5608. When interviewed Colin Strickland told officers that he shared the home with his girlfriend, Kaitlin Armstrong, and that they had been together for three years, although they had separated for a week or two in the autumn of 2021.
A friend of Wilson, who asked investigators to conceal her identity for fear of retaliation from Armstrong, informed them that Strickland and the victim had been having a relationship on and off since late 2021.
During this break, Strickland and Wilson had been romantically involved, but Strickland and Armstrong ultimately ended up back together.
Following the couple’s reunion, Armstrong confronted Wilson by phone, establishing her position as Stricklands girlfriend, she then blocked the victims phone number. Regardless, Strickland and Wilson continued to communicate secretly, with Strickland deleting text messages and adding Wilson to his contacts under a different name. According to the affidavit, Strickland, who is sponsored by Red Bull, was in awe of Wilson’s skill and said, in his opinion, she was the best female cyclist in the U.S. He told police that he was working on getting Wilson sponsors. In contrast, he described Armstrong as needy and said she held him back as she was an amateur cyclist and often interrupted his training by attempting to train with him and demanding his assistance when she could not keep up.
Colin Strickland admitted that he met with the victim that day, and had picked her up on his motorcycle from Cash's home, before taking her swimming at a local pool and then to grab a bite to eat at a nearby burger place. After dropping off Wilson he quickly messaged Armstrong, lying about his whereabouts that day, and telling her he was heading home. Armstrong did not respond and did not return until around 9:30PM. She pulled up to their home in the Jeep Cherokee.
Police determined there was two firearms in the home- a Sig-Sauer P365 and a Springfield Arms EMP 9mm. Strickland confirmed that he had purchased two firearms, one at the end of 2021 and one at the beginning of 2022. One for himself and one for Armstrong.
Armstrong was hauled in for questioning on May 13 and did not explain why her vehicle was in the area on the night of Wilson’s murder. She sold the Jeep that same day for a total of $12,200.
She boarded a flight to Houston, and then New York, from where she fled to Costa Rica, arriving May 18. Armstrong left the U.S after police issued a homicide warrant for Armstrong on May 17.
Police received an anonymous call stating Armstrong had said she wanted to kill Wilson on more than one occasion.
The Sig-Sauer 9mm was ballistically tested six days after the murder and results indicated the potential that the handgun was the murder weapon were one and the same was significant.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, was arrested on June 29, 2022, at a hostel in Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas.
Colin Strickland said in a public statement about the case:
“Moriah and I were both leaders in this lonely, niche sport of cycling, and I admired her greatly and considered her a close friend. I am deeply grieving her loss.”