mo wilson murderer
(Photos/courtesy of U.S. Marshals Service and Travis County Sheriff's Office)

Timeline: Mo Wilson Murder Case and Kaitlin Marie Armstrong Fugitive Hunt

As Kaitlin Marie Armstrong faces murder charges behind bars in Austin, Texas, we organize a timeline of events.

Pro cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson’s alleged murderer Kaitlin Marie Armstrong made national headlines for almost 2 months as she evaded authorities. On May 14, police charged Armstrong with first-degree murder in Wilson’s May 11 shooting death in an Austin apartment.

Armstrong, 34, proceeded to avoid capture for 43 days despite a fugitive hunt that involved the U.S. Marshals Service and eventually international authorities.

On June 30, a law enforcement coalition of multiple agencies arrested her at a hostel in Costa Rica. She then underwent deportation back to the U.S., awaiting trial under a $3.5 million bond.

Along the way, authorities found the case likely resulted from a love triangle between the two women and professional cyclist Colin Strickland, who Armstrong lived with. They also uncovered numerous tips and leads that indicated Armstrong sold her car just before flying out of Austin, used a fake identity, and received help while she hid from investigators.

kaitlin armstrong
(Photo/courtesy of U.S. Marshals Service)

Here’s a timeline of the significant events in the case, from the night of Wilson’s death until now.

Timeline of Mo Wilson Murder Case

May 11: After dinner at a restaurant, Colin Strickland drops off Wilson, 25, at 1708 Maple Ave #B, where she is staying while visiting Austin to compete in the Gravel Locos race. At approximately 9:56 p.m., the Austin Police Department (APD) responds to an emergency call from the apartment. Officers arrive to find Wilson, 25, bleeding and unconscious with multiple 9mm gunshot wounds. At 10:10 p.m., a doctor pronounces her dead at the scene.

May 12: Following an autopsy, the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office determines Wilson’s death was a homicide. Meanwhile, officers with the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force find a black Jeep in Armstrong and Strickland’s driveway that appears to match a vehicle seen on security footage from the crime scene.

The footage showed that the car arrived one minute after Strickland dropped Wilson off at the apartment and departed shortly after that. The officers bring Armstrong in for an interview but release her. Police later admit that a technicality resulted in the department “mistakenly releasing” her.

May 13: The APD receives a tip from an anonymous caller saying that Armstrong “wanted to kill Wilson” after learning she had briefly dated Strickland during a break in the two’s relationship. The caller also tells police Armstrong said she’d either recently bought a handgun or planned to buy one soon.

May 14: Austin Police announce the incident “did not appear to be a random act” and that they “have identified a person of interest” in the case. Detectives ask anyone with information to contact the department. Armstrong departs from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, bound for New York’s La Guardia International Airport via Houston Hobby Airport.

kaitlin marie armstrong
(Photo/courtesy of U.S. Marshals Service)

May 17: Officials obtain a search warrant for Strickland and Armstrong’s residence and find two 9mm handguns. Subsequent ballistics tests at federal facilities show “significant potential” that Armstrong’s Sig-Sauer P365 was the weapon involved in the homicide. APD files an affidavit that applies for Armstrong’s arrest and charges her with First Degree Murder (Felony).

May 18: Armstrong gets dropped off at Newark Liberty International Airport, authorities report. No outbound flights in her name exist there.

May 19: The State of Texas formally charges Armstrong with First Degree Murder (Felony) in Austin City Municipal Court.

June 3: Cyclists at UNBOUND Gravel in Emporia, Kan., perform a tribute ride to Wilson. Meanwhile, Strickland loses high-profile sponsors due to his admitted “proximity” to the case.

June 6: The U.S. Marshals Service upgrades the investigation to “major case status” and offers a $5,000 reward for information leading to Armstrong’s arrest.

June 15: A private investigator tells Austin’s KXAN that he received tips indicating Armstrong could be using her sister Christine Armstrong’s name and identity. A former FBI agent not formally attached to the case tells the news outlet she believes Armstrong received help evading authorities.

June 23: Investigators learn that Armstrong sold her Jeep Cherokee to an Austin CarMax dealership for $12,200 on May 13 — one day before she flew out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Rumors that Armstrong had undergone plastic surgery surface.

June 29: Officials capture Armstrong in Costa Rica, ending the 43-day chase and resulting in her deportation. Multiple U.S. authorities and Costa Rican officials announce that they apprehended Armstrong at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas the next day. Armstrong had boarded United Airlines Flight 1222 from Newark International Airport on May 18 with a fraudulent passport.

Suspect in Pro Cyclist Murder Apprehended in Costa Rica
Suspect in Pro Cyclist Murder Apprehended in Costa Rica
The arrest of Kaitlin Marie Armstrong marks the close of a 43-day manhunt in the ‘Mo’ Wilson murder case. Read more…

Arresting authorities find Armstrong’s appearance changed, with her hair dyed dark brown, bandages on her nose, and bruising under her eyes. Armstrong reportedly says it resulted from a surfing incident. A search of her room at the hostel reveals a receipt for plastic surgery.

July 5: Armstrong arrives at the Travis County (Texas) Jail after transferring from a Houston jail. Reports indicate her bail is set at $3.5 million. A Travis County judge rules that if authorities release her, she must wear a GPS bracelet, observe a curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., and surrender her passport.

As of this writing, Armstrong awaits trial in jail.

Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.