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Woman who fled to Costa Rica after allegedly killing an elite cyclist has been returned to the US to face charges, officials say

<i>KTRK</i><br/>Kaitlin Marie Armstrong
KTRK
KTRK
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong

By Jamiel Lynch, Jeremy Grisham and Aya Elamroussi, CNN

The woman captured in Costa Rica after being accused of killing elite cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Texas has been returned to the US to face murder charges, the US Marshals Service told CNN Saturday.

Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, is suspected of fatally shooting Wilson at an Austin home on May 11. A week later, she was seen at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport, where she boarded a flight to San Jose, Costa Rica, officials said.

Earlier this week, Armstrong was found at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, and her deportation process began, Marshals officials said. She used a passport “that did not correspond to her identity” to enter Costa Rica, officials there said.

“Armstrong has arrived back in the US and will be held in Harris County (Texas) Jail awaiting Extradition to Austin,” a Marshals spokesperson told CNN.

It’s unclear when that extradition will happen or when she will appear in court.

The fatal shooting of Wilson, who had previously dated Armstrong’s boyfriend — 35-year-old professional cyclist Colin Strickland — is believed to have been a violent act of romantic jealousy, authorities have said.

Investigators determined Wilson had been in a romantic relationship with Strickland while he and Armstrong were briefly separated late last year.

Wilson, 25, was a gifted multi-sport athlete who was a skier before she became a pro cyclist.

She particularly excelled at “gravel racing,” a relatively new category of cycling that some consider a hybrid of road cycling and mountain biking.

At the time of her death, Wilson was days from participating in the Gravel Locos bike race in Hico, Texas, and she was staying with a friend in Austin to prepare for the race.

On the day she was killed, Wilson went swimming with Strickland, according to an arrest affidavit. After that, the pair got dinner and Strickland dropped her off at her friend’s home and did not go inside, according to the affidavit filed by police in Travis County District Court.

Hours later, shortly before shortly before 10 p.m., Austin Police responded to the home and found Wilson with multiple gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

On May 17, police issued a homicide warrant for Armstrong. The affidavit mentions details such as video showing a vehicle similar to hers near the home Wilson was staying in shortly before her body was found.

Strickland is quoted by the Austin American-Statesman as saying that he had a “brief romantic relationship” with Wilson from late October to early November 2021, while he was separated from Armstrong.

Strickland and Armstrong reconciled and resumed their relationship about a month later, he told the paper. Strickland said his relationship with Wilson then became “platonic and professional” and he considered her a “close friend,” he said.

After Wilson’s killing, her family released a statement saying she was not in a romantic relationship at the time of her death.

“While we will not elaborate about the ongoing investigation, we do feel it’s important to clarify that at the time of her death, those closest to her clearly understood, directly from Moriah, that she was not in a romantic relationship with anyone,” the family said in a statement.

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CNN’s Rebekah Riess, Jennifer Henderson, Hannah Sarisohn, Melissa Alonso, Caroll Alvarado and Chris Boyette contributed to this report.

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