Moriah Wilson's killer was captured after answering 'fake yoga ad', US authorities say

Kaitlin Armstrong was sentenced to 90 years in prison for murder of Wilson last year

Kaitlin Armstrong on trial
(Image credit: Screengrab from Court TV's livestream)

Moriah Wilson's killer was captured by US authorities after she answered a fake advert for a yoga instructor, it has been revealed.

Kaitlin Armstrong was convicted of the murder of cyclist Anna Moriah "Mo" Wilson, a 25-year-old up-and-coming talent in the American gravel scene, last November. She was sentenced to 90 years in prison.

Armstrong shot and killed Wilson on 11 May 2022 in what was later argued was an extreme act of jealousy; Wilson had dated Armstrong’s boyfriend at the time, the cyclist Colin Strickland, after he and Armstrong had broken up. The affair rocked the American cycling community.

Within days of Wilson's murder, Armstrong, 35, fled the country and changed her appearance. She evaded capture for 43 days but was apprehended on June 29, 2022, in Costa Rica. Armstrong pleaded not guilty. In October, within weeks of the start of her trial, Armstrong again tried to escape but was captured nearly immediately.

Now, authorities in the US have revealed how they apprehended Armstrong in Costa Rica. Deputy US Marshals Damien Fernandez and Emir Perez traveled to Costa Rica after receiving a tip off that she was there, but after a fruitless search tried one last tactic - posting a fake advert for a yoga instructor. This followed female operatives attending yoga classes in an attempt to spot her. 

“I think from the get-go we were told … you’re gonna be in for a surprise, ‘cause a lot of the women in Santa Teresa look just like Kaitlin – a lot of them,” Fernandez told CBS show 48 Hours.

It turns out that not only was Armstrong using fake identities, but had gone through plastic surgery to change her appearance.

"We decided we were gonna put an ad out… or multiple ads for a yoga instructor and see... what would happen," Perez said.

They put an ad out "just saying, hey, we're at this hostel, we're looking for a yoga instructor as soon as possible. Please contact us at this number," Fernandez said.

After a week of silence, Armstrong answered the ad. Police then confirmed it was her, and she was extradited to Texas to face trial.

In November, at the trial, Wilson's mother, Karen, described how Armstrong had "crushed the lives" of many.

"Kaitlin Armstrong. I'm not sure my words can penetrate your heart, but I'm going to try," she said. "I hate what you did to my beautiful daughter. It was very selfish and cowardly.

"You ruined your life, your family's life, our lives, and crushed the lives of many more. When you shot Moriah in the heart, you shot me in my heart. You shot Eric and Matt in the heart.

"I pray for your healing. The only way that can begin is to admit your guilt. Only your actions can seek forgiveness. And not just from us, but most importantly, from your creator."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1