A Texas yoga teacher allegedly killed a professional cyclist who had previously dated her boyfriend before going on the run, authorities said.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, a 34-year-old yoga instructor, is wanted for killing Anna Moriah Wilson, 25, who was found dead May 11 in Austin after she arrived from San Francisco to take part in a race in the city of Hico, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Armstrong’s boyfriend, pro cyclist Colin Strickland, 35, told authorities that he had a romantic relationship with both women, and had gone swimming with Wilson shortly before a friend found her dead on the bathroom floor from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the arrest affidavit.
Strickland said he had a relationship with Armstrong for three years, but he had a fling with Wilson while they were on a break in October.
A tipster told police that when Armstrong learned in January about Strickland’s relationship with Wilson, she “became furious and was shaking in anger” — and wanted to kill Wilson, the American-Statesman reported, citing the affidavit.
Strickland told authorities he had changed Wilson’s name in his phone and deleted text messages “to prevent Armstrong from finding them,” according to the affidavit.
Texts from the night of the slaying showed that Strickland lied to Armstrong about where he had been “to hide he was with Wilson throughout the evening,” the affidavit says.
Strickland bought two handguns around the same time, one for himself and another for Armstrong, officials said. Police said they found Armstrong’s 9mm handgun at the home where she lives with Strickland.
Investigators who compared shell casings from the pistol to those found at the home where Wilson was gunned down said the likelihood that the same weapon was used is “significant,” the paper said.
Surveillance video captured Armstrong’s black 2012 Jeep Cherokee — bearing Texas license plate LDZ5608 — near the house where Wilson was killed shortly before a friend discovered her body, CNN reported.
On May 17, Austin police issued a homicide warrant for Armstrong and requested assistance from the US Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force to capture the suspect.
Armstrong may still be driving her Jeep Cherokee or may have abandoned it in the Austin area, according to the newspaper.
In a statement to the newspaper, Strickland insisted that his relationship with Wilson was platonic at the time of her death.
“There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime,” Strickland told the paper. “I am sorry, and I simply cannot make sense of this unfathomable situation.”
He added: “It was not my intention to pursue along an auxiliary romantic relationship that would mislead anyone. Moriah and I were both leaders in this lonely, niche sport of cycling, and I admired her greatly and considered her a close friend. I am deeply grieving her loss.”
Wilson, known as “Mo” to friends and relatives, is survived by her parents and brother.
In a statement to ABC News, the family said they are “devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter and sister.
“There are no words that can express the pain and suffering we are experiencing due to this senseless, tragic loss. Moriah was a talented, kind, and caring young woman,” they said.
“Her life was taken from her before she had the opportunity to achieve everything she dreamed of. Our family, and all those who loved her, will forever miss her,” the family added.
Wilson, who was considered among the top cyclists in the US, had recently quit her job to focus on training and was the favorite to win the Gravel Locos race, the American-Statesman said.
Wilson’s family plans to launch a foundation in her memory to “share Moriah’s life story and legacy to inspire and enrich the lives of others,” according to ABC News.
“With her visibility and presence in the cycling world, she wanted to empower young women athletes, encourage people of all walks of life to find joy and meaning through sport and community, and inspire all to chase their dreams.”
In a statement, the US Marshals Service said Friday: “Members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force are actively conducting a fugitive investigation and pursuing leads on the whereabouts of Armstrong.”