The father of the fugitive wanted for allegedly murdering a professional cyclist insists his daughter didn’t do it.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 35, is on the run after authorities say she gunned down Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, 25, on May 11. An arrest affidavit reviewed by Oxygen.com alleges that Armstrong became “furious” when she allegedly caught wind that her boyfriend, pro cyclist Colin Strickland, 35, was in contact with Wilson months after the two cyclists had a brief, romantic fling.
Michael Armstrong spoke to Good Morning America to dispute claims that his daughter killed a romantic rival in a fit of jealous rage.
“I know her,” Mr. Armstrong said of his daughter. “I know how she thinks, I know what she believes, and I know that she just would not do something like this.”
Wilson, originally from Vermont, was in Austin to race in the Gravel Locos competition in Hico, Texas. She and Strickland, a fellow professional cyclist, allegedly met up hours before Wilson was found dead in an apartment where she was staying.
Strickland admitted to authorities that he and Wilson had a “romantic relationship” in October while he and Kaitlin Armstrong were temporarily separated. He maintained that he and Wilson remained friends and colleagues in the sport of gravel cycling, even after he and Kaitlin Armstrong reconciled.
Witnesses told authorities that, when Kaitlin Armstrong learned about the relationship between Wilson and Strickland in January, she became “furious” and began “shaking with anger,” according to the affidavit. At one point, Kaitlin Armstrong allegedly said she was angry enough that she could kill Wilson.
“That is what they believe,” said Mr. Armstrong. “I know that she did not do this.”
Strickland allegedly told police that he hid his ongoing friendship with Wilson from his girlfriend, including by storing Wilson’s information in his phone under an alias. Wilson and Strickland reportedly met at the City of Austin Deep Eddy Pool shortly before the murder, something Strickland said he also hid from his girlfriend.
On the evening of May 11, surveillance video captured Kaitlin Armstrong’s 2012 Jeep Cherokee stopping at the home where Wilson was later found shot to death. According to the affidavit, authorities spoke with Kaitlin Armstrong on May 12, but she ended the interview.
An arrest warrant charging Kaitlin Armstrong with first-degree murder was issued on May 17 — but not before the suspect reportedly fled the state.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service Lone Star Fugitive Task Force announced that, on May 14, Kaitlin Armstrong was at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at around 12:30 p.m., according to NBC Austin affiliate KXAN. Investigators say she boarded Southwest flight 2262 to Houston, then boarded connecting Southwest Airlines flight 30 to LaGuardia Airport in New York City.
As seen in airport surveillance photos provided by the Marshals Service and published by the NBC outlet, Armstrong was wearing a blue denim jacket, a black shirt with a pink graphic, white jeans, a black COVID-19 mask and black and white tennis shoes.
Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, authorities had said that they believed Armstrong was still in the Austin area, where she had familial and community ties.
Mr. Armstrong, who spoke to "Good Morning America" before authorities announced that his daughter had fled Texas, said there are still “a lot of unanswered questions.”
“We love you, Katie, and we’re going to figure this out,” said Mr. Armstrong.
Kaitlin Armstrong is a white female, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing approximately 125 pounds.
Anyone with information on Armstrong’s whereabouts is urged to contact the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102 or the Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-893-8477.