NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Texas fugitive murder suspect Kaitlin Armstrong has been captured in Costa Rica, more than six weeks after Austin police obtained a murder warrant in the death of professional cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson.
US marshals announced the bust on Thursday morning, 43 days after the manhunt began, and said she was captured on Wednesday.
Costa Rican authorities helped US law enforcement track Armstrong to an inn on Santa Teresa beach in the province of Puntarenas, marshals said. Authorities said she used a “fraudulent passport” to fly from Newark, New Jersey, to San Jose, Costa Rica on May 18.
“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,” the district’s U.S. Marshal said. West Texas, Susan Pamerleau. “This is an example of combining the resources of local, state, federal and international authorities to apprehend a violent fugitive, end that flight, and hopefully bring about a sense of closure for the victim’s family.”
TEXAS MURDER SUSPECT KAITLIN ARMSTRONG THROUGH THE YEARS: FUGITIVE LOVE TRIANGLE SEEN IN OLD PHOTOS FROM DECADES
Armstrong is expected to be deported to face justice in the United States, where she has been charged with murder and unlawfully fleeing prosecution.
Austin police found Wilson, 25, riddled with gunshot wounds at a friend’s home around 10 p.m. on May 11. The California resident is one of the top professional cyclists in the country and was visiting Texas before a competition when she went out for a night out with Colin Strickland, another professional cyclist whom police describe as Armstrong’s boyfriend.
Moments after Strickland dropped Wilson off that evening, investigators say, Armstrong’s SUV appeared on surveillance video outside.
The 34-year-old yoga teacher was questioned and released on May 12. On May 17, she was named in a murder warrant. By then she had already flown from Texas to New York, where police said she arrived at LaGuardia Airport on May 14.
Costa Rican law enforcement works closely with their U.S. counterparts in such cases, according to Lenny DePaul, the retired former commander of the U.S. Marshals New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force. Service.
“They will deport her, and she will probably waive the extradition — and then the US Marshals Service will have 10 days to come down and extradite her to the United States,” he told Fox News Digital on Thursday.
Federal investigators and their Costa Rican partners were able to track his movements after the trail went cold in Newark, he added.
KAITLIN ARMSTRONG MANHUNT: NEW YORK CAMPER LINKED TO SUSPECT IN DEATH OF AUSTIN CYCLIST’S LOVE TRIANGLE
“I know there were a few U.S. Marshals on the ground who worked with Costa Rican authorities, as well as Homeland Security. [Investigations], [and State Department] Diplomatic security services as well,” he said. “It took them a few weeks to really tighten that noose a bit and put her in their sights.
As for the sister Armstrong may have visited before fleeing the country, DePaul said he hopes for her that she cooperates with authorities.
“Otherwise, she faces a considerable time,” he said. “They could definitely charge her with harboring a fugitive or aiding and abetting. That’s a lot of time in federal penitentiary, so hopefully she jumped aboard Team USA…[and] did the right thing.”
Authorities told FOX 7 Austin Thursday night that the passport Armstrong allegedly used “was issued to someone else whose physical description was very close” and that she was captured with “a bandage on the nose” and told police she had been in a surfing accident.
As Fox News Digital reported, a man at an upstate New York campground where Christie Armstrong stayed and worked said he saw the fugitive in the area last month, “before it all happened. ‘explodes’ and the manhunt makes national headlines.
The sisters share similar physical characteristics and Marshals previously told Fox News Digital that they knew about the campground.
Jason Jensen, a Utah-based private investigator who has been following the case, told Fox News Digital there’s a chance Kaitlin Armstrong used her sister’s identity while on the loose. And a day before Kaitlin Armstrong was seen in New Jersey, her sister reportedly got a New York state driver’s license, he said.
KAITLIN ARMSTRONG: SUSPECT CHARGED IN TEXAS LOVE TRIANGLE MURDER SOLD CAR FOR $12,200 BEFORE FLEEING, SAYS FEDERAL
On May 14, an anonymous caller told Austin police that Armstrong had recently obtained a handgun. Months earlier, according to the tipster, she became furious after learning that Strickland was romantically involved with Wilson. Police said one of two 9mm handguns recovered from Strickland’s home was “significant to the investigation”. Armstrong also lived there, according to the warrant for her arrest.
Prior to his capture, Armstrong’s last known whereabouts were at Newark International Airport in New Jersey, also about 120 miles from the camp, on May 18. in Costa Rica with someone else’s passport.
KAITLIN ARMSTRONG’S NEW FEDERAL WARRANT CONFIRMS ‘MO’ WILSON MURDER WEAPON FOUND IN FUGITIVE’S TEXAS HOME
Armstrong is a former real estate investor and may have a large sum of money at his disposal, authorities say. And before leaving for New York, she sold her Jeep Grand Cherokee to a CarMax dealership around the corner from her house for well below market value of $12,2000, the marshals said earlier.
FUGITIVE KAITLIN ARMSTRONG: AUSTIN MURDER SUSPECT’S DISAPPEARANCE TIMELINE
Austin police previously said they had already recovered the handgun used to kill Wilson after searching Strickland’s home.
No one answered the door Tuesday or Wednesday at the Austin home where Armstrong lived with Strickland, who dropped Wilson off on the night of his murder after they went swimming and dined behind Armstrong’s back, according to the murder warrant. Messages sent to his listed phone number were met with a request for “please f— off” on Thursday.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
According to Armstrong’s warrant, he had bought the gun from his girlfriend earlier that year.