The father of a fugitive Texas yoga teacher, who is accused of murdering her love rival, said his daughter is not capable of committing such a gruesome crime.
‘We love you Katie, and we are going to figure this out… I know her, I know how she thinks and I know what she believes [in],’ Mike Armstrong told ABC News. ‘That is what I believe, I know she did not do this.’
Thirty-five-year-old Kaitlin Armstrong is currently on the run after being sought in connection to the murder of elite cyclist Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, 25.
Kaitlin Armstrong may have been driven by jealousy and a belief that her boyfriend, Colin Strickland was cheating on her with Wilson, according to police.
According to an arrest affidavit, a friend of Wilson’s said that she had received a text message from the woman informing her that she planned to go swimming with Strickland.
Speaking to ABC News, Mike Armstrong reiterated his support for his daughter and said he believes that she would not kill anyone.
Police have released surveillance video that shows Kaitlin Armstrong’s Jeep pulling away from an Austin residence where Wilson was staying and where her body was found on May 11.
Police said that when Kaitlin Armstrong was first confronted with the footage they told her ‘it made things not look too good,’ and she ‘nodded her head up and down as if in agreement.’
The day after the questioning, Armstrong deleted all her social media accounts and has been on the run since.
Mike Armstrong reiterated his support for his daughter Kaitlin Armstrong, who is accused of murdering her love rival, and said he believes she would not kill anyone
Armstrong may have been driven by jealousy and a belief that her boyfriend, Colin Strickland was cheating on her with Wilson, according to police
Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, 25, was found shot dead in an Austin apartment on May 11, 2022
‘She was a realtor, she was a yoga teacher. So, she had personal relationships here in the Austin area… we hope that eventually if she had some type of claim, that maybe she will reach out to those associates and we receive a tip,’ Deputy US Marshall Brandon Filla told ABC News.
The neighbor whose camera captured Armstrong’s car leaving the scene said that she didn’t hear any gunshots and that her dogs only became agitated when emergency services arrived at the scene.
She said: ‘It’s lucky that my camera caught her car because it isn’t on all the time. It gets triggered when cars drive by but not always. It was just her bad luck. If she planned the whole thing she should have figured out that there [are] cameras around.’
A police tipster, who did not want to be identified, earlier told investigators that Armstrong flew into a rage on discovering cyclist Strickland’s romance with fellow cyclist Wilson in January 2022.
Strickland told police that he purchased two 9mm handguns for him and Armstrong around that time.
Authorities believe that Strickland and Wilson continued their relationship, something that Wilson’s family denies.
That tipster got in contact with cops on May 14, three days after Wilson was murdered. Armstrong was subsequently questioned by cops, and freed due to a technicality.
The only thing missing from Wilson’s room after her killing was her bike, which investigators said they found in a bamboo thicket more than 60 feet from the house
Wilson was killed shortly after going swimming with a fellow cyclist named Colin Strickland -and police say she may have been targeted by his jealous girlfriend
The informant told police: ‘Armstrong became furious and was shaking with anger. Armstrong told the caller Armstrong was so angry Armstrong wanted to kill Wilson.’
On the night of her death, Wilson allegedly had a secret pool date with Strickland after he lied to his girlfriend about dropping off flowers to a friend, it is claimed.
Armstrong is said to have found out about that pool date, and is accused of shooting Wilson shortly after.
Strickland dropped Wilson off at 8.30pm at a friend’s home in East Austin.
Armstrong did not arrive back at the house she shared with Strickland until 9.20pm, he told police.
The couple saw Wilson, 25, at an event in January 2022 and she had reportedly texted Strickland asking: ‘Hey! Sooo would like to talk to you at some point. Had originally texted you on Friday but appears my texts aren’t going through again. This weekend was strange for me and I just want to know what’s going on. If you just want to be friends (seems to be the case) then that’s cool, but I’d like to talk about it cause honestly my mind has been going circles and don’t know what to think.’
Strickland replied: ‘Hey Mo- feel very shitty for putting you in position where you don’t feel comfortable. Kaitlin came along the go to meeting about the sprinter/spartan hotel project. In hindsight, this was not good idea.’
Wilson reportedly believed her and Strickland were still in a relationship at this point.
After Armstrong discovered their fling, she reportedly contacted Wilson several times and had even called her to tell her ‘she was the one who was dating Strickland.’
Strickland later changed Wilson’s name in his phone, so that Armstrong would not know who he was chatting with ‘so they could continue their relationship,’ and that Armstrong had blocked his lover’s number on his phone.
He also reported ‘deleted’ messages in his phone so she wouldn’t find them, as well.
The unidentified friend said Strickland and Wilson had an ‘on-again off-again’ relationship and had met several times and that Armstrong had recently begun following the cyclist on Instagram.
A police tipster, who did not want to be identified, earlier told investigators that Armstrong flew into a rage on discovering cyclist Strickland’s romance with fellow cyclist Wilson in January 2022
The informant told police: ‘Armstrong became furious and was shaking with anger. Armstrong told the caller Armstrong was so angry Armstrong wanted to kill Wilson’
On the day of Wilson’s murder, the cyclist reportedly told her friend Caitlin Cash – who called 911 – she was ‘going to meet up with friend named Colin to go swimming’ at Austin’s famed Deep Eddy pool.
Cash left the residence around 5.30pm and when she returned, she noticed the door was unlocked and observed Wilson ‘lying on the bathroom floor covered in blood and no one else was inside.’
Cash said her door requires a ‘unique code’ to open and said she had received a notification that the code was used around 5.55pm, showing that the door was locked – indicating that Wilson had left to go swimming, the affidavit said.
She said she received another notification around 8.30pm, indicating Wilson had returned.
She said the password had recently been changed and her and Wilson were the only two who knew it.
Strickland told police he dropped Wilson off around 8.45pm and had stopped in an alleyway to text Armstrong: ”Hey! Are you out? Went to drop some flowers for Alison at her sons house up north and my phone died. Heading home unless you have another food suggestion.’
‘Strickland had lied about his whereabouts to Armstrong to hide he was with Wilson throughout the evening,’ the affidavit said.
Wilson was seen as a rising star in the sport. She had just turned professional, leaving her job at California-based bike company Specialized, and weeks before had taken the first lead for elite women in the Life Time Grand Prix off-road series
Strickland later issued a statement, and insisted his relationship with Wilson was ‘platonic and professional’
On May 17, the firearm located at Strickland’s residence was ‘test fired’ and police have determined it had significant potential’ that that gun could have been used in the crime.
Investigators are also probing whether exercise app Strava led Armstrong to Wilson’s location.
It is used by runners and cyclists to share exercise routes, and Wilson’s profile – which has now been deleted – was publicly visible.
She uploaded a cycle route beginning and ending at the Austin property where she was staying on May 11, the date of her death, disclosing her location.
Strickland later issued a statement, and insisted his relationship with Wilson was ‘platonic and professional.’
He wrote: ‘There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime.’ He said he was cooperating fully with the police.
‘I admired her greatly, and considered her a close friend,’ he wrote. ‘I am deeply grieving her loss.’
Wilson was seen as a rising star in the sport.
She had just turned professional, leaving her job at California-based bike company Specialized, and weeks before had taken the first lead for elite women in the Life Time Grand Prix off-road series.
She had a busy season of racing ahead of her, with competitions across the United States and in East Africa.
Wilson grew up in East Burke, Vermont. Her father, Eric Wilson, was in the US ski team, while her aunt, Laura, competed in the Olympics as a cross-country ski racer.
In a statement, her family said: ‘While the tragic loss of Moriah is unfathomable, at the same time we want everyone to join us in celebrating her life, accomplishments, and love for others.
‘Always pushing tirelessly to reach her goals, we knew she was pursuing that which she loved. We will miss her terribly and know that all mourn her with us.’
The family has started a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $100,000 to ‘to help fund community organizations that help youth find self-confidence, strength, and joy through biking, skiing, and other activities that Moriah was passionate about.’
She skied competitively throughout her youth, continuing to compete at Dartmouth College, where she also played soccer. She graduated with a degree in engineering.
‘Moriah Wilson was all light and laughter,’ said Rebecca Rusch, mountain bike and gravel hall-of-famer.
‘She was talented, intelligent, gentle, fast, focused, and graceful.
‘She had a poise and inner strength that is so rare in any human, especially one as young as 25.
‘There was a bubble of positivity and joy around her, and we all wanted to be in her bubble.’