Austin Cops Have Issued an Arrest Warrant for the Murder of Cyclist Moriah Wilson
Kaitlin Armstrong, the partner of gravel cycling star Colin Strickland, is charged with first-degree murder
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Cops in Austin, Texas have named a suspect in the shooting death of 25-year-old gravel cycling star Moriah Wilson.
On Thursday, police issued an arrest warrant for Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, on felony charges of first-degree murder. A police spokesperson told Outside that Armstrong has not been taken into custody.
The news was first reported by VeloNews.
Armstrong is a real estate agent for the Texas-based firm Kuper Realty, and also the partner of elite gravel racer Colin Strickland, the winner of the 2018 edition of Unbound Gravel. Strickland introduced Armstrong to a VeloNews reporter in Austin in late 2019 and identified her as his partner. The two recently co-founded a business renovating vintage recreational vehicles, called WheelHouse Mobile.
According to the company’s website, “Colin’s partner and financial guru, Kaitlin Armstrong, led him to realize they could build this into something much greater than a one-off passion project.”
Outside called Strickland but he did not pick up. On Friday afternoon Strickland released a statement on social media calling the murder an “unfathomable tragedy,” and stating that he had cooperated with investigators.
In his statement, Strickland said he and Wilson had a brief romantic relationship in late 2021, before he reconciled with Armstrong.
“After our brief romantic relationship in October of 2021, we were not in a romantic relationship, only a platonic and professional one,” Strickland said. “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 for her loss.”
According to a police affidavit obtained by Outside, Strickland also said he had previously deleted text messages from Wilson and changed her name in his phone to prevent Armstrong from finding their communication.
The affidavit states that cops began investigating Armstrong after video footage showed a black SUV similar to the vehicle she owns parked outside the apartment where Wilson was shot and killed on the night of Wednesday, May 11. Police then searched a home in Austin that Armstrong owns for firearms and traces of blood.
On May 12, police contacted Strickland and interviewed him in central Austin. Strickland told police that he and Wilson had gone swimming together at Austin’s Deep Eddy municipal swimming pool on the evening of May 11. Strickland dropped Wilson off at the apartment where she was staying at approximately 8:30 P.M.
Footage from a camera near the apartment showed a black SUV with bike racks similar to Armstrong’s pull up to the house around 8:36 P.M. The friend that Wilson was staying with returned to the house shortly before 10 P.M. and called 911 after she found Wilson unresponsive and covered in blood in the bathroom. Officials were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cops found three spent nine-millimeter bullet shells at the scene, the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, Strickland said he had purchased two nine-millimeter handguns—one for him and one for Armstrong—from a local gun store.
Wilson, who grew up in East Burke, Vermont, was a rising star on the U.S. gravel and mountain-bike racing cycling scene. In 2021 she scored impressive results at major cycling races, including the Big Sugar Gravel and Leadville Trail 100 MTB. In 2022 she won San Diego’s Belgian Waffle Ride and the Sea Otter Classic.
She had traveled to Austin from Colorado to participate in the Gravel Locos race, held two hours outside the city.
Ian Dille contributed to this story.