Fugitive yoga teacher Kaitlin Armstrong is charged with first degree murder over shooting of love rival
Kaitlin Armstrong, 34, who returned to Texas after being extradited from Costa Rica was transferred Tuesday from Houston to Austin
She was booked into the jail and was charged with first degree murder and theft
She had spent six weeks on the run after the shooting of 25-year-old Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson
She allegedly killed Mo Wilson, a fast rising pro cyclist amid fears she was seeing her boyfriend Colin Strickland
A fugitive yoga teacher who allegedly gunned down her love rival then fled to Costa Rica has been charged with first degree murder. Kaitlin Armstrong, 34, was transferred from Harris County in Houston to Travis County Jail in Austin on Tuesday afternoon.
She was booked into the jail and was charged with first degree murder as well as theft of service between $100 and $750.
It comes after her extradition from Costa Rica to the US after six weeks on the run following the fatal shooting of 25-yearold Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson in Austin, Texas on May 11..
She allegedly blasted her perceived love rival to death amid fears she was seeing her boyfriend, professional cyclist Colin Strickland, 35, behind her back.
Law enforcement lead Kaitlin Armstrong on arrived at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on Sunday. She was looking very different to the images of her in circulation before her disappearance.
Photographs released on Monday show the suspect with a visibly altered look, having had a $6,350 in cosmetic surgery as well as cutting and dying her hair brown.
Armstrong will be transferred to Austin, where she faces murder charges for allegedly killing cyclist Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, 25, during a feud over Armstrong’s on-and-off boyfriend, Colin Strickland.
Armstrong was transported to the Travis County Jail at approximately 3.30pm Tuesday afternoon after leaving Harris County earlier Tuesday.
She was booked in under a ‘felony, 1st degree’ charge as well as for ‘theft of service equal to or greater than $100 and less than $750’.
A spokesman confirmed she had been charged with first degree murder on Tuesday afternoon after more details of her cosmetic surgery emerged Monday, revealing she spent $6,350 in one clinic in Costa Rica.
A witness alleged he saw her with bandages on her nose before her June 29 arrest at a $50-a-night ‘treehouse hostel’ in Santa Teresa Beach.
Zachary Paulsen claimed Armstrong had been asking for ways to cut back on costs before she was caught out by cops during a routine check.
‘She was just asking about how to get around cheaper, and then the police came,’ Paulsen told Inside Edition.
Armstrong was seized by Costa Rican officers after they could not find her fake name in their database. The fugitive left behind two American passports in a locker where she had stored her things.
One of the documents bore her name and the other seemingly belonged to her lookalike sister, Christine Armstrong. Photographs of the documents show one passport bearing the name Kaitlin Marie Armstrong and featuring the yoga instructor’s personal information and picture.
The other passport seemingly belonged to a 31-year-old brunette named Christine Elizabeth Armstrong, believed to be Armstrong’s younger sister.
Unlike her pre-fugitive images that were in circulation, Armstrong reportedly had ‘cropped her hair about shoulder length’ and ‘dyed [her red hair] dark brown.’
This was likely an attempt to better resemble Christine.
Paulsen also claimed to have found a $6,350 receipt for cosmetic surgery under ‘another name’ among her belongings.
A visibly different looking Armstrong arrives Houston Airport in handcuffs and hiding her face behind her formerly ginger hair.
He alleged Armstrong had been walking around the hostel with a ‘bandage on her nose and blood in her nostrils.’ The receipt doesn’t indicate what services were provided, but Paulsen claims Armstrong had bandaged her nose. Meanwhile ABC 13 video showed Armstrong in handcuffs and hiding her face behind her formerly ginger hair.
For the U.S. marshals the fugitive was captured ‘at a good time’ before she could further alter her appearance. Deputy marshal Filla told the ‘TODAY Show’ that Armstrong had made the changes ‘to throw off law enforcement officials,’ and indicated she may’ve attempted to get tattoos to make her more unidentifiable. Authorities had earlier established that she traveled to Costa Rica using her sister’s passport and possibly underwent plastic surgery while on the run.
Armstrong fled to Costa Rica in an apparent attempt to carry out a double life under a false name.
She was posing as a woman named ‘Ari’ during her stay at Don Jon’s Lodge in the small town of Santa Teresa, which is home to only 3,000 people.
Fellow guests described her as a ‘strange’ loner who would ‘keep to herself,’ despite sleeping in an eight-bunkbed dorm. Armstrong reportedly, first arrived at the Don Jon’s Lodge on June 8.
Staff had repeatedly turned down her requests to work as a yoga instructor, but eventually relented and she started helping with the classes when the normal teacher was off. She was also working shifts on the front desk in reception.
They continued: ‘She didn’t talk to anyone. She didn’t have to work in the morning and slept late. When she got up, she drank a lot of coffee. And she sat in some chairs, apart from the others.’
The 34-year-old was such a loner that the other guests even thought she had left because they never saw her get home from her shifts at the resort
Susan Pamerlea, the U.S. marshal for the Western District of Texas said Thursday: ‘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.’
Armstrong was found in Santa Teresa Beach, a remote Costa Rican town that has become popular for tourists in recent years.
Armstrong had led cops on a mammoth six-week chase across multiple countries and U.S. states, including Texas, New York and New Jersey before she was arrested. Footage of her arrest in Costa Rica showed a woman being marched into a police station in Costa Rica with a dramatically changed appearance.
Armstrong stands accused of the May 11 shooting of Wilson, a cyclist whom she thought was having a relationship with her boyfriend, Colin Strickland.
The yoga instructor was linked to Wilson’s death after authorities found her ‘bleeding and unconscious’ at her friend’s apartment in Austin. She had sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
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 on May 11, Wilson had gone to dinner with Armstrong’s on-off boyfriend Strickland, who told police 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: 45 p.m. and dropped her off again at 8:36 p.m. – 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 he and Wilson using cycling app Strava, which shows the routes runners and cyclists take.
A neighbor’s security camera caught Armstrong’s black Jeep Cherokee driving up to the property at 8:35 p.m. The same neighbor said Armstrong had also been caught on camera the previous day, riding a bike in the same spot.
A day after police spoke to her, she dropped out of sight. Subsequently it was discovered that she had was on the run after laying a false trail.
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 tipster told investigators Armstrong flew into a rage on discovering cyclist Strickland’s romance with fellow cyclist Wilson in January 2022 and threatened to ‘kill’ her.