Forty-one days after Austin police issued an arrest warrant for Kaitlin Armstrong, a suspect in the murder of off-road cycling talent Moriah Wilson, the U.S. Marshals office have located and apprehended the Texan in Costa Rica.
In a joint effort between the U.S. Marshals Office of International Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service and Costa Rican authorities, Armstrong was located and apprehended on June 29th in a hostel in Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, the U.S. Marshals Office reports.
Members of the U.S. Marshals-led Lone Star Fugitive Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations recently discovered that Armstrong, using a fraudulent passport, had boarded United Airlines Flight 1222 from Newark International Airport at 5:09 p.m. EST on May 18 and arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica, at 8:27 p.m. EST.
“The Marshals Service elevated the Kaitlin Armstrong investigation to major case status early in this investigation, which likely played a key role in her capture after a 43-day run,” said U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Susan Pamerleau. “This is an example of combining the resources of local, state, federal and international authorities to apprehend a violent fugitive, bring an end to that run and hopefully a sense of closure to the victim’s family.”
The American will now be deported and returned to the U.S. to face two charges: alleged murder and 'Unlawfully Flight to Avoid Prosecution.'
Armstrong is wanted for the alleged murder of Anna Moriah Wilson, a 25-year-old cyclist who was among the most talented and winningest up-and-coming off-road racers in America.
On May 11, Wilson was found dead with several bullet wounds in a friend’s home in Austin, Texas. The Vermont-native had travelled to Austin to compete in the Gravel Locos, a 150-mile gravel race that she was favored to win.
The police then named fellow cyclist and partner of Red Bull athlete Colin Strickland, Kaitlin Armstrong, as being wanted for first-degree murder felony charges. Details of what is alleged to have occurred between the cyclists and the night of the murder have emerged throughout the last weeks, with a possible love triangle seemingly a motive for the alleged murder.
Armstrong has been on the run since being questioned by the Austin police on May 12th.
The murder case was handed off to the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force who reported that Armstrong sold her vehicle — which has been spotted at the crime scene on the night of the murder, to a CarMax dealership on May 13. She then left the city via the Austin airport on May 14.
Prior to the arrest in Costa Rica, Armstrong was last spotted at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on May 18, the day after Austin police issued a homicide warrant for her arrest.
Since her murder, Moriah's family has launched a GoFundMe page in memory of the beloved racer with further tributes pouring in from across the cycling community.
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Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.
Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist.
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