On Thursday Kaitlin Armstrong was arrested in Costa Rica, according to The Daily Beast. Armstrong is the woman wanted in connection in the killing of cyclist Moriah Wilson. This marks the end of a 43-day hunt for the suspect. Wilson was killed by gunshot on May 11. Armstrong was suspected to have murdered Wilson in a jealous rage, after she learned that her boyfriend Colin Strickland had spent the afternoon with her.
Fled country days after murder
According to a report in Velonews, authorities learned that Armstrong, using a fake passport, got on United Airlines Flight 1222 from Newark International Airport on May 18 and flew to San Jose, Costa Rica. The Velonews report also said that Armstrong had undergone plastic surgery. Authorities previously thought she had gone to the Jersey airport that day as a ruse to throw them off their trail. There was footage of her in the airport, but no flights booked in her name.
“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,” U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Susan Pamerleau said on Thursday. “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.”
Costa Rican cops worked together with U.S. law enforcement in locating Armstrong. They learned that she was staying at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Proincia de Puntarenas, the Marshals said.
According to an earlier Fox News report, the spokesperson for the Marshals said that Armstrong sold her black Jeep Grand Cherokee to a car dealer in Austin for $12,200 just one day before she left the state. The same CarMaxx dealer is selling Jeeps similar to Armstrong’s for well over $30,000. Many experts believe that she needed quick cash and had fled the country. Some even thought she may have gone to Canada, or Bali. They also believed that she may have been using an alias, even her sister’s name, as they looked very similar.
Armstrong will now be deported to the United States. She has also been charged federally with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. She also faces a charge of first degree murder. That charge, in the state of Texas, could result in life in prison, or the death penalty.
On Monday, a new federal warrant confirmed that police had also found the gun used to murder Wilson in the Armstrong’s Austin home that she shared with pro gravel racer Colin Strickland.
The US Marshals had recently escalated their search for Armstrong. They upgraded the investigation to “major case status,” which meant they could spend even more resources and staff in locating the suspect. There was also a $21,000 reward for anyone who helped in her capture.