A woman cyclist, arguably the best in history yet still early in her career at just 25, was ruthlessly murdered in Texas.
The details of this premeditated act are chilling albeit complex.
Shortly before her body was found, Moriah [Wilson] had flown into Texas to participate in the Gravel Locos, a 150-mile bike race. While in town, she and Colin [Strickland, who had been in a romantic relationship with her] agreed to meet up and hang out. Police believe Kaitlin [Armstrong, who lives with Colin and runs a business with him] may have located the two via a cycling app known as Strava, where locations are enabled. According to police, Kaitlin allegedly followed Moriah to the apartment she was staying in and may have fired a 9mm handgun – the same gun Colin told authorities [he had given to Kaitlin].
To recap, Strickland pulled Wilson into what easily could be described as a romantic evening (despite his claims otherwise) when she traveled to Texas to compete in a race. Armstrong, his business partner and girlfriend is now accused of murdering Wilson.
Surveillance video showed Armstrong suddenly appeared at Wilson’s residence (black Jeep Cherokee, Texas plate LDZ5608) after Wilson was delivered there by Strickland. Ballistics tie the gun Strickland purchased for Armstrong to the crime.
Authorities in fact took Armstrong for questioning (based on an unrelated warrant) yet also allowed her to walk free as she balked at details about the murder (e.g. her Jeep and the gun Strickland gave her).
When detectives suggested “maybe you were upset and just in the area,” she allegedly nodded in agreement. Police said that she became angry when asked about Mr Strickland meeting with Ms Wilson. “I didn’t have any idea that he saw or even went out with this girl… as of recently,” she allegedly told investigators. Investigators then “confronted Armstrong on how seeing her vehicle in the area, coupled with the statements made by Strickland, made things not look too good,” according to the warrant.
Armstrong simply walked away from investigators once she was informed she had a right to leave; went and deleted her social media then disappeared.
Authorities say she is now a wanted fugitive.
Strickland frames his role as a poor liar, not an accessory to murder, during his long-term relationship with Wilson.
Strickland told detectives Armstrong did not know where Wilson was staying. But Wilson’s Strava account might have provided a clue: On the day she was killed, she uploaded a ride that began and ended at the home where she was staying. At just before 10 p.m., a woman who rents the home where Wilson was staying called police after arriving and finding Wilson lying in the bathroom. She told police that nothing was missing in the home except for Wilson’s bicycle, which investigators later found in thick bamboo more than 60 feet from the house.
Strickland said he had erased Wilson’s text messages and altered Wilson’s name on his phone as a means to keep his relationship going while Armstrong vigorously tracked them and tried to intervene multiple times. His statement Armstrong did not know where Wilson was staying, the source of speculation about the role of Strava in the murder, seems willfully ignorant at best.
Strickland released a statement he wants people to believe his “romantic” time with Wilson was just one week in October when he was single, despite Armstrong at that time “called Wilson on the phone, telling Wilson she was the one who was dating Strickland”.
The affidavit and Strickland’s phone history suggest it was months later in January when Armstrong objected more violently to what was perceived to be an ongoing romantic relationship with Wilson.
Perhaps the most Texas moment of all was around that time, and in that context of anger, Strickland purchased Armstrong the gun that was just used to kill Wilson.
Strickland not only gave Armstrong the weapon, he also may have brazenly led her to the scene and triggered her.
The affidavit points out that while Strickland claimed Armstrong didn’t know where Wilson was staying (and he only engaged with her in a “platonic” relationship) in fact he went to pick Wilson up at 5:45 pm directly from where she was staying to ride on his motorcycle for a swim and private dinner.
Strickland returned Wilson by motorcycle again directly to where she was staying. At 8:36 pm he sent a text message to Armstrong saying he “went to drop some flowers…and my phone died”.
Wilson entered the residence at the same time as that text message, according to the unique code and timestamp on the door lock.
Armstrong’s SUV one minute later was captured on video stopping outside Wilson’s residence, perhaps not needing Strava because simply observing Strickland and Wilson riding his motorcycle, and perhaps treating that text message as a signal.