Kaitlin Armstrong visiting yoga studios led to her arrest in Costa Rica for murder

Kaitlin Armstrong visiting yoga studios led to her arrest in Costa Rica for murder

The murder suspect of rising star biker Moriah Wilson is now behind bars in the Travis County Jail. On Thursday, law enforcement officials recounted the details leading up to the arrest of Kaitlin Armstrong, an Austin yoga instructor.

Armstrong was on the run for 43 days after investigators obtained an arrest warrant for the alleged murder of Wilson. The murder is believed to be a crime of passion due to a love triangle situation with Armstrong’s ex-boyfriend, who was with Wilson the day she was killed.

Since being on the run, Armstrong fled the country to Costa Rica, where she traveled from San Jose, to Jaco Beach and then to Santa Theresa.

The U.S. Marshals learned of her using several different aliases—Beth, Liz and Ari Martin—she was using at different yoga studios in the area. She also changed her appearance by cutting and coloring her hair to a dark brown and wearing a bandage over her nose, officials said.

Investigators used “old-fashioned” police techniques to locate Armstrong, such as going door to door for information. They were able to find her trail by visiting and interviewing people at local yoga studios and places she had stayed at.

“It was more than a handful (of yoga studios she visited),” Deputy U.S. Marshall Brandon Filla said Thursday. “She was really trying to build something, where she could instruct yoga in Costa Rica.”

She was located and detained at the Don Jon Hostel at Santa Theresa beach for fraudulent use of a passport on June 29. Officials said she was noticeably exhausted when caught.

She was transported back to San Jose, where she confessed to her true identity. She was sent to Houston on July 2 before being booked in the Travis County Jail on Tuesday. Armstrong is being held on $3.5 million bond.

Here’s a recap of events since the night of Wilson’s murder.

  • On May 11, Wilson met with Armstrong’s ex-boyfriend Colin Strickland, a fellow pro cyclist. According to an affidavit, the pair went swimming, then to dinner, before he dropped Wilson off at her friend’s home where she was staying in East Austin at around 8:30 p.m.
  • While Wilson and Stickland had previously had a romantic relationship, Stickland said the two were friends. The affidavit says Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts that evening.
  • Video footage shows Armstrong’s Jeep pulled up nearby the home within a minute of Wilson arriving home.
  • At around 10 p.m., Wilson’s friend called Austin police after finding her in a pool of blood. Wilson had been staying with the friend ahead of the upcoming bike race in nearby Hico, Texas.
  • Armstrong was brought in for questioning the day after the murder and released after appearing “very still and guarded” when confronted with video evidence.
  • The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force said her black Jeep Cherokee was sold to a South Austin CarMax dealership on May 13 for $12,200.
  • She left from the Austin airport on May 14, with a connecting flight Houston before landing in New York.
  • Shell casings found on the scene matched a gun belonging to Armstrong.
  • Austin police obtained an arrest warrant for Armstrong on May 17.
  • She took a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to San Jose, Costa Rica on May 18 using a fraudulent passport, according to the Marshals.
  • On May 25, another warrant was obtained for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
  • On June 29, she was captured by the U.S. Marshals in Costa Rica.