Kaitlin Armstrong, a fugitive wanted for murder of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson, was arrested in Costa Rica after a 43-day search, authorities announced Thursday.
Armstrong, 34, was arrested Wednesday at a motel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, the US Police Department said. She will be deported and return to the US
Austin police issued an arrest warrant for Armstrong on May 17 on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Wilson, 25, who they determined was having an affair with Armstrong’s boyfriend, the athlete. Professional cyclist Colin Strickland.
Wilson was found bleeding and unconscious with multiple gunshot wounds at a friend’s home in Austin on May 11.
A car resembling Armstrong’s 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee was captured on surveillance footage from a neighboring mansion that stopped outside a friend’s home the night of the shooting, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
When police interviewed Armstrong on May 12, she was “faced with video evidence of her vehicle” but “she had no explanation as to why it was in the area and did not give any any disclaimer surrounding the claims,” the affidavit states. After further questioning, Armstrong asked to leave, according to the affidavit.
The Marshals Lone Star fugitive task force found Armstrong’s Jeep Grand Cherokee last week. Armstrong sold the car on May 13 to a CarMax dealer in Austin for $12,200 before flying out of Austin airport on May 14, authorities said. Investigators believe she then boarded a Southwest Airlines flight to Houston Hobby Airport, before connecting to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
Investigators learned Armstrong was provided transportation to Newark Liberty International Airport on May 18 and, using a fraudulent passport, boarded a United Airlines flight that day to San Jose, Costa Rica, according to the US Marshals.
The US Marshals have appealed to the public in the search for Armstrong, a real estate broker and yoga instructor, and have offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to her arrest.
It is not clear if Armstrong has an attorney.
The Marshals Service defection was soon elevated to “major case status,” which “could have played a significant role in her arrest after 43 days on the run,” said Susan Pamerleau, Chief of Police The United States is in charge of the West District of Texas, said in a statement. “This is an example of combining local, state, federal, and international government resources to capture a violent fugitive, end that fugitive, and hope for a sense of closeness.” close to the victim’s family.”
Wilson, a rising elite cyclist, was visiting Austin from San Francisco for a gravel bike race. Police said she was shot hours after meeting Strickland. Austin police said at the time that the shooting did not appear to be random and that they had a person interested in the incident.
Strickland told police he had not seen Armstrong since May 13, according to the affidavit. He said he has fully cooperated with detectives in the investigation.
“There are no words to adequately express the remorse and torture I feel about the imminent commission of this terrible crime,” Strickland said in a statement. statement for ABC News Austin branch KVUE. “I’m sorry, and I simply cannot understand this unfathomable tragedy.”