AUSTIN, Texas — A warrant in the fatal shooting of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson details a love triangle that includes a male professional cyclist and the woman he lives with, Austin police say.
Wilson, 25, was found dead May 11 at an East Austin home on Maple Avenue. She had traveled from San Francisco and was staying in town before competing in a gravel race in Hico, northwest of Waco, the following weekend.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, of Austin, faces a murder charge in connection with the shooting. Police spoke to Armstrong on May 12 – the day after Wilson died – and confronted her with video surveillance which investigators say shows a vehicle matching the one she is driving stopping at the residence where Wilson was staying. A minute earlier, Wilson had come home after swimming with Armstrong’s boyfriend.
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Armstrong, police said, nodded in agreement when detectives told him the video did not suit him.
Armstrong was not arrested. Police said she deleted her social media accounts and her boyfriend told them he hadn’t seen her since May 13. Her account on Strava – an online cycling and fitness platform – remains public and shows that she last cycled on May 11, the day Wilson died.
On Friday, the US Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force announced it was conducting a “fugitive investigation” and asked for the public’s help in locating Armstrong.
The affidavit reveals a romantic entanglement that began in October when Armstrong split from her longtime boyfriend, professional cyclist Colin Strickland. During a brief hiatus in that relationship, Strickland met and became involved with Wilson, soon to get back together with Armstrong.
According to police, an informant assisting the homicide investigation told detectives that Armstrong learned in January of Strickland’s relationship with Wilson and “became furious and was shaking with anger.” The informant told police that Armstrong said she wanted to kill Wilson. At that time, police said Strickland purchased two firearms: a 9mm handgun for himself and another for Armstrong.
While searching the house where Armstrong lives with Strickland, investigators say they seized a 9mm handgun belonging to Armstrong. Comparing casings fired from that gun to those found in the home where Wilson was killed, police say the possibility that the same firearm was used is “significant.”
Colin Strickland describes his relationship with Wilson
Strickland, a professional cyclist sponsored by Red Bull, released a statement to the American statesman on Friday saying he had a brief relationship with Wilson after meeting her in Austin in October. He said that after this fling, which lasted about a week, his relationship with Wilson became platonic and professional, and he got back together with Armstrong. He said he was no longer romantically involved with Wilson.
“There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel over my closeness to this horrific crime,” Strickland said. “I’m sorry, and I just can’t make sense of this unfathomable situation.”
Strickland said he has been cooperating with authorities and will continue to do so.
His statement read: “It was not my intention to pursue an ancillary romantic relationship that would fool anyone. Moriah and I were both leaders in this solitary niche sport of cycling, and I admired her very much and considered her a close friend. I deeply mourn her loss.”
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Wilson was considered one of the best cyclists in the country and had recently quit her job to focus on training. She was the favorite to win Gravel Locos, the race she came to Texas for.
Around 6 p.m. on the day of his death, Wilson left his home to go swimming with Strickland at Deep Eddy Pool, investigators said in the affidavit. At around 8:30 p.m., police said she returned after Strickland dropped her on his motorcycle. A minute later, CCTV from a nearby house shows a dark SUV with a bike rack in the back and a luggage rack on the hood appearing to stop next to the house where Wilson was staying.
Strickland told detectives that Armstrong did not know where Wilson was staying. But Wilson’s Strava account might have provided a clue: On the day she was killed, she uploaded a ride that started and ended at the house where she was staying.
Just before 10 p.m., a woman who rented the house where Wilson was staying called police after arriving to find Wilson lying in the bathroom. She told police that nothing was missing from the house except for Wilson’s bike, which investigators later found in thick bamboo more than 60 feet from the house.
While investigating Wilson’s relationship with Strickland, Lone Star Fugitive Task Force authorities visited the house where Strickland lives with Armstrong. In his driveway, they discovered a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee that matches the vehicle in the video, the affidavit states.
Strickland, in a voluntary interview with police, revealed that Armstrong drove home that night in the Grand Cherokee.
All charges are just law enforcement charges until and unless a suspect is convicted of a crime. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in court.