The fugitive yoga teacher who is accused of killing her love rival in a jealous rage has been arrested in Costa Rica after six weeks on the run.
Kaitlin Armstrong, 34, was wanted for allegedly shooting dead cyclist Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, 25, on May 11 in Austin, Texas.
US Marshals have been searching for her across the US, and said she was last seen at Newark’s Liberty International on May 18, the day after the Austin Police Department issued a warrant for her arrest.
On Thursday evening, Armstrong was captured at a Santa Teresa Beach hotel in Costa Rica, US Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force said in a statement.
Armstrong was stopped by agents assigned to the Santa Teresa de Cóbano Tourist Police division and provide the cops a different name. However, no record of her entry into the country came up when the name she gave was cross referenced with the country’s immigration registry.
She then told the agents her real last name, which was checked with a data base that revealed she was wanted on an international arrest warrant.
They added that a joint investigation by the Marshals and Homeland Security Investigations found that Armstrong fled the country on May 18 using a fraudulent passport.
She boarded a United Airlines flight to San Jose at Newark, and arrived there that evening. Armstrong is now set to be deported to the US.
In an image obtained by DailyMail.com, Armstrong can be seen from behind in shorts and an orange t-shirt with dramatically shorter hair which she dyed from red to brown. Video of her after her arrest has also been released, showing her walking to a holding cell with a police officer.
Armstrong is white, stands 5 feet 8 inches and weighs approximately 125 pounds
Armstrong is arrested at a hostel in Costa Rica after six weeks on the run: Cops say she used fake passport to flee the US
Armstrong shown here at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on May 14
Authorities say Armstrong fell into a jealous rage and shot Wilson, 25, left, dead after she went for a swim and dinner with Armstrong’s boyfriend, professional cycler Colin Strickland, right
Timeline of Kaitlin Armstrong’s movements since the murder of her boyfriend’s lover
May 11: Cyclist Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, 25, is found dead in an apartment in Austin, Texas, shortly after going swimming with Armstrong’s boyfriend, Colin Strickland.
May 13: Armstrong sells her Jeep Grand Cherokee, seen in surveillance footage outside the apartment where Wilson had been staying, and gets a check on May 15 for $12,200.
May 14: An anonymous police tipster tells investigators that Armstrong flew into a rage after discovering Strickland’s romance with Wilson.
Armstrong is questioned by cops on an old warrant but had to be released when police realized it had expired.
During the police interview Armstrong admitted it ‘doesn’t look good’ when cops pointed out she had been near the apartment at the time of the murder.
An anonymous caller tells Austin police that Armstrong had recently obtained a handgun.
Armstrong is released and goes on the run from cops by hopping on an Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Houston Hobby and then getting on a connecting Southwest flight to LaGuardia in New York.
May 17: The firearm located at Strickland’s residence was ‘test fired’ and police have determined it had ‘significant potential’ to be the gun used in the crime
May 18: Armstrong is last seen at Newark Liberty International Airport, a two-and-a-half hour drive from Camp Haven in Livingston Manor where she is said to have been spotted about a month ago.
June 30: Armstrong is arrested at a hotel in Costa Rica after a 43-day manhunt.
‘The Marshals Service elevated the Kaitlin Armstrong investigation to major case status early in this investigation, which likely played a key role in her capture after a 43-day run,’ said U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Susan Pamerleau.
Armstrong is wanted in connection to the death of Wilson after authorities found Wilson ‘bleeding and unconscious’ after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds on May 11 at her friend’s apartment in Austin.
Police performed CPR on Wilson before pronouncing her dead at the scene. Wilson, a Vermont native and ‘world-class’ cyclist, was staying in Austin for a race.
Armstrong’s car was seen in the area around the time of the shooting, leading authorities to believe she had killed Wilson out of jealousy.
They later found out that earlier that night, Wilson had gone to dinner with Armstrong’s boyfriend Colin Strickland, who told police that the two of them had been swimming at Deep Eddy Pool before getting burgers at Pool Burger.
Strickland said he picked her up from the apartment of her friend Caitlin Cash on his BMW motorbike at 5.45pm and dropped her off again at 8.36pm – stopping shortly after to text Armstrong to tell her he had been dropping off flowers to another friend and that his phone had run out of battery.
But unknown to Strickland, Armstrong had allegedly been tracking both him and Mo using cycling app Strava which shows the routes runners and cyclists take.
A neighbor, who asked not to be named, previously told DailyMail.com that her home security camera caught Armstrong’s black Jeep Cherokee driving up to the property, which sits above a garage at the back of a larger home, at 8.35pm.
She also told DailyMail.com that Armstrong had been caught on camera the previous day, riding a bike in the same spot.
Armstrong was questioned by Austin police officers on May 14 after they discovered that the yoga instructor had an open misdemeanor warrant on a theft of services charge, the Daily Beast reports.
The cops then used the opportunity to briefly question her about Wilson’s death several days earlier – after they received an anonymous tip that Armstrong flew into a rage when she discovered that Strickland had previously been romantically involved with Wilson.
During the interview, cops showed Armstrong video surveillance of her SUV apparently coming to a stop outside the apartment where Wilson was found dead on May 11.
The footage was time stamped just one minute after Wilson, 25, entered the building following a swim and dinner with Strickland.
This is the latest US Marshals wanted poster for Kaitlin Armstrong
Wilson was found with multiple gunshot wounds by her friend Caitlin Cash, with whom she was staying as she was in Texas for a race
Strickland, 35, has previously said that his relationship with Armstrong was getting rocky and he decided to spend time with Wilson while she was in town
He had met Wilson (pictured) through cycling and had a ‘brief’ romantic relationship with her at the end of October 2021
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Santa Teresa is a remote village on the Nicoya peninsula of Costa Rica, 93 miles from the capital city of San Jose.
The population is around 3,099 inhabitants with another 500 throughout the the year due to tourism.
Previously a quaint fishing community, the town has been transforming into a tourism hotspot, boasting beautiful beaches, yoga retreats, spas and surfing.
There are currently 44 hotels, 59 tourist rental houses and 49 restaurants in the area.
The town holds both luxury resorts and affordable hostels with prices ranging from $50 to $550 a night, making it attractive to both backpackers and celebrities alike.
There is also a bustling nightlife due to the bars and restaurants that line the beaches.
The getaway was popularized in part by Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, who are frequently spotted in the area with their kids. Bündchen has said they have been visiting since 2007.
During the interview, Armstrong reportedly admitted it ‘doesn’t look good,’ and a probable cause document for her arrest says she ‘had no explanation as to why it was in the area, and did not make any denials surrounding the statements presented to her.’
On May 13, five days before she fled the country, it was discovered that Armstrong had sold her black Jeep Grand Cherokee to a car dealership in Austin for $12,2000
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.’
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.
After realizing Armstrong had fled, the US Marshals Service ‘elevated the investigation to major case status early in this investigation, which likely played a key role in her capture after a 43-day run.’
Veteran private investigator Bill Warner has said anyone that had contact with Armstrong while she was on the run could be charged by police.
‘Because everyone knew she was on the run, anyone who talked to her during that time should have expected to be charged by the police,’ Warner told Fox News.
‘She looked to have a really tight network of individuals and friends, and her family seemed to be standing by her, saying that she was innocent. She appeared to have a lot of support behind her.’
Strickland has claimed to The Sun that his relationship with Wilson formed after his relationship with Armstrong got rocky.
‘I had ended the relationship with Kaitlin and it was just interesting timing because Mo had come to Austin to visit a friend that exact week,’ he told The Sun. ‘It was completely unplanned and yeah, we started spending some time together.’
Wilson and Strickland remained friends after their brief romantic relationship and went for a swim at this Austin municipal pool, Deep Eddy, on the day of the murder
The two then stopped by the Pool Burger (pictured) restaurant for dinner
During Wilson and Strickland’s secret meet-up, Armstrong’s 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee was spotted driving outside the home of Wilson’s friend, where the cyclist was staying at
The car was spotted again that night after Strickland dropped off Wilson
Armstrong is believed to have tracked Wilson through her Strava account. Although now deleted, the fitness tracking app was recording Wilson up to the day of her murder
A neighbor said she saw Armstrong’s Jeep Grand Cherokee pull up to the residence (pictured) the night that Wilson was killed
A man who was staying at the Camp Haven (pictured) compound in Livingston Manor, New York, said Armstrong’s sister Christine had been staying there and he had seen Armstrong there earlier
‘That was clearly expressed to Kaitlin at that time, and Kaitlin dated other men directly after that.’
He added: ‘We were clearly going our separate ways but we just didn’t get enough inertia to separate.’
The professional cyclist also argued that he was in ‘minimal communication’ with Wilson after their romance ended last year, alleging the affidavit implied something deeper.
‘Mo and I communicated about twice a month (after that) and I think it was skewed in a very misleading way in the affidavit,’ Strickland said.
He also told the newspaper he got back with his ex because ‘Kaitlin and I were involved in several businesses together.’
Additionally, Strickland denied having any intimate interactions with Wilson the day of her death, reiterating that the nature of their relationship was platonic at that point.
‘If it wasn’t, there would have been intent to do otherwise, which did not transpire,’ he stated.
Strickland, who has allegedly been in ‘shell-shocked grieving mode’ since Wilson’s killing, also told The Sun there was no indication that ‘anything was off’ with Armstrong.
‘I would say she is one of the least volatile people I have ever met and that’s why it’s so absolutely shocking,’ he explained. ‘She had sides to her personality that I don’t think she shared with anybody.
‘I had no indication of anything like that.’
The cyclist revealed that he is still mourning Wilson’s killing, but would not confirm if he has been in contact with her loved ones.
He did, however, note that Armstrong and Wilson had a face-to-face interaction with each other at a cycling event in Arkansas in January.
Armstrong was found in Santa Teresa Beach, a remote Costa Rican town that has become popular for tourists in recent years
Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen are often spotted in the area, and have been going to Costa Rica together since 2007
After the event, Wilson allegedly texted Strickland: ‘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 in circles and I don’t know what to think.’
Friends of Strickland, 35, have since told DailyMail.com he fears becoming Armstrong’s second victim and has ‘got out of Dodge completely’ until she is caught.
Close friend David, 42, of Lockhart, Texas, said: ‘None of us can sleep. He’s staying out of sight until she’s caught. I do know where he is but I’m not mentioning where for his safety.
‘He’s not in Texas – he’s got completely out of Dodge.’ Strickland has not confirmed those allegations himself.
Santa Teresa Beach, where Armstrong was found, is a remote town located on Costa Rica’s northern Nicoya peninsula. The town is located over five hours from San Jose, the city that Armstrong flew into.
‘This is an example of combining the resources of local, state, federal and international authorities to apprehend a violent fugitive, bring an end to that run and hopefully a sense of closure to the victim’s family,’ read the statement from the US Marshals.
The area is home to many hostels and hotels that have comparatively low prices to other remote vacation spots, with some as low as $50 a night.
The town is known for beautiful beaches and surfing, and has recently seen an uptick in tourists and expats since celebrities including Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen vacation there.
The couple are frequently spotted around Santa Teresa, most recently in February, and Bündchen told Vogue in 2010 that they have been going there together since 2007.