When Anna Moriah Wilson’s friend arrived home to her Austin apartment late on May 11 to find Wilson lying on the ground unconscious and covered in blood, it left the cycling world in shock.
The 25-year-old Vermont native, known to her friends as Mo, had only arrived in Texas the day before to compete in the Gravel Locos that weekend, a 150-mile gravel bike race she was favored to win.
She had quit her job just weeks earlier to compete full-time, according to VeloNews, who described her in a profile as “the winningest woman in the American off-road scene.”
Wilson had been shot multiple times inside the apartment in what Austin police later described as a targeted homicide.
In a stunning update on Friday, police charged yoga teacher and fellow cyclist Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, with first-degree murder, KVUE reported. Armstrong was in a relationship with a man who had also been involved with Wilson, investigators said in an arrest affidavit obtained by The Boston Globe.
According to the affidavit, the friend who hosted Wilson at her East Austin apartment told police she left home at around 5:30 p.m. on May 11 and later got a text from Wilson who said she was meeting a male friend for a swim.
Investigators say Armstrong had been dating the man, but Wilson was also romantically involved with him in the past when he and Armstrong were separated. The man identified himself on Friday as Colin Strickland, another champion gravel cyclist who rides for Red Bull and also runs a business with Armstrong renovating tractor trailers.
Just before 6 p.m., Wilson entered the apartment using a key code. The code was accessed again at 8:36 p.m. and a neighbor’s security camera captured an SUV pulling up to the apartment at that time, the affidavit notes. Wilson’s friend then arrived home around 10 p.m. to find her on the bathroom floor “covered in blood.”
Police allege the SUV was owned by Armstrong, who lives with Strickland. It prompted police to search Armstrong’s South Austin home this week but it’s not clear what, if any, evidence was collected.
In an interview with police, outlined in the affidavit, Strickland claimed he dropped Wilson back at the friend’s apartment at around 8:30 p.m. after going for a swim. He admitted that he and Armstrong keep 9mm handguns in their home. He denied having any involvement in Wilson’s death and has not been charged with any offenses.
In a statement to local media on Friday, Strickland said he and Wilson had a one-week relationship in late 2021 when Wilson was visiting Austin. They were both newly single, he said, but about a month after Wilson left Austin he got back together with Armstrong. He said he often saw Wilson at competitive events, and they sometimes trained together.
“[W]e were not in a romantic relationship, only a platonic and professional one,” he said. “It was not my intention to pursue along an auxiliary romantic relationship that would mislead anyone.”
He said he felt “regret and torture” about his proximity to the “horrible crime.”
Armstrong worked in the Austin office of real estate agency Kuper Realty, the company wrote in a December 2021 blog post and Facebook post that has since been deleted.
The post described her as a “tenacious agent” and “avid cyclist” who also teaches yoga and co-founded Wheelhouse Mobile, the vintage trailer renovation company. Wheelhouse’s website says she founded the company in 2021 with her partner, Strickland, who is a Red Bull athlete.
Kuper Realty, Wheelhouse Mobile and Strickland did not immediately respond to emails and phone calls requesting comment. It was not clear if Armstrong had yet retained a lawyer.
In a statement released shortly after her death, Wilson’s family called her death “unfathomable.”
“[A]t the same time we want everyone to join us in celebrating her life, accomplishments, and love for others,” they wrote. “Always pushing tirelessly to reach her goals, we knew she was pursuing that which she loved. We will miss her terribly and know that all mourn her with us.”