A manhunt is underway for a Texas woman wanted in connection with the shooting death of a professional cyclist who authorities say was once romantically linked to the suspect’s boyfriend.
Austin police issued a homicide warrant on Tuesday for Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 35, in the murder of Anna Moriah Wilson, 25, according to the US Marshals Service.
Wilson was in Austin last week on an errand when she was found bleeding and unconscious with multiple gunshot wounds at a friend’s home on the night of May 11, police said. First responders took lifesaving action, but she was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined the manner of death to be homicide. Austin police said at the time they had someone interested in the incident and “the shooting does not appear to be a random act.”
US Marshals said they are currently looking for Armstrong, of Austin, who they believe is a suspect in the fatal shooting.
“Members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force are actively investigating the fugitives and seeking leads as to Armstrong’s whereabouts,” the US Marshals Service said in a statement Friday.
According to Armstrong’s first-degree murder warrant affidavit, Wilson was traveling to Austin from San Francisco for a bicycle race when her friend came home to find Wilson lying alone on the bathroom floor. bath covered in blood. Armstrong’s 2012 Jeep Cherokee was captured on surveillance footage from a nearby residence pulling up in front of the residence the night of the homicide, according to the affidavit.
Earlier that evening, Wilson had met Colin Strickland, a professional cyclist from Austin, to go swimming, the friend told police, according to the affidavit.
When questioned by police on May 12, Strickland, 35, confirmed that he went swimming with Wilson, according to the affidavit. Strickland told police he and Armstrong had been living together and dating for about three years, according to the affidavit. During a brief break in their relationship in October 2021, he had a “romantic relationship” with Wilson, before resuming his relationship with Armstrong, according to the affidavit.
Since then, Strickland has told police he had to change Wilson’s name in his phone and delete text messages “to prevent Armstrong from finding them,” the affidavit states. Text messages from the night Wilson was killed showed Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts “to hide that he was with Wilson throughout the evening,” the affidavit states.
A friend of Wilson’s who wanted to remain anonymous told police that Wilson and Strickland had an “ongoing, on-going relationship,” according to the affidavit. Another anonymous caller said Armstrong discovered in January that Strickland and Wilson were romantically involved, at which point Armstrong “became furious and was shaking with anger,” the affidavit states. “Armstrong told the caller that Armstrong was so angry that Armstrong wanted to kill Wilson,” the affidavit reads.
When police questioned Armstrong on May 12, they were ‘confronted with video evidence from his vehicle’ but ‘had no explanation as to why he was in the area and made no denials regarding statements,” the affidavit reads. After further questioning, Armstrong asked to leave, according to the affidavit.
Armstrong has since deleted her social media accounts and “has not been seen or heard from since that time,” according to the affidavit. Strickland told police he last saw her on May 13, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, two firearms that Strickland told police he purchased for himself and Armstrong were recovered from his and Armstrong’s home following the shooting. Based on casings found at the scene, the possibility that one of the weapons was involved in the homicide “is significant,” the affidavit states.
In a statement to ABC News Austin affiliate KVUE, Strickland said he had “fully cooperated with investigators” and expressed “torture over my closeness to this horrific crime.”
He said he had a “brief romantic relationship” with Wilson from late October to early November 2021, and that shortly thereafter he “reconciled and resumed” his relationship with Armstrong while maintaining a “platonic and professional” with Wilson.
Wilson’s death shocked the cycling community. The athlete had won several gravel and mountain bike races over the past two seasons and had recently quit her job to focus on racing, according to VeloNews, who interviewed Wilson days before she was set to start. participate in the 157 mile Gravel Locos in Hico, Texas on May 14.
Wilson, known as “Mo” to friends and family, is survived by her parents and brother. Her family said in a statement to ABC News that they were “devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter and sister.”
“Words cannot express the pain and suffering we are experiencing because of this tragic and senseless loss. Moriah was a talented, kind and caring young woman,” her family said. “Her life was taken from her before she had the opportunity to achieve everything she dreamed of. She will be forever missed by our family and everyone who loved her.”
His family also wished to clarify that at the time of his death, Wilson had no romantic relationship with anyone.
Wilson’s family hopes to establish a foundation in his memory to “share the story and legacy of Moriah’s life to inspire and enrich the lives of others.”
“With her visibility and presence in the world of cycling, she wanted to empower young female athletes, encourage people from all walks of life to find joy and meaning through sport and community, and inspire everyone to pursue their dreams,” they said.
ABC News’ Lisa Sivertsen contributed to this report.
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