Kaitlin Armstrong Was Trying to Build New Life in Costa Rica

Marshals say murder suspect used fake passport to flee US
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2022 7:52 AM CDT
Marshals: Suspect in Cyclist's Murder Used Fake Passport
This photo provided by the US Marshals Service shows Kaitlin Marie Armstrong.   (U.S. Marshals Service via AP, File)

The woman accused of murdering star cyclist Moriah Wilson flew out of the US on a fake passport and was apparently trying to build a new life as a yoga instructor in Costa Rica, investigators say. Kaitlin Armstrong was taken into custody in the Central American country Wednesday and is awaiting extradition. US Marshals say the 34-year-old fled Texas after police questioned her on May 13 and used a fake passport to board a May 18 flight from Newark to Costa Rica. Deputy US Marshal Brandon Filla tells KXAN that Armstrong had changed her appearance when she was found at a hostel in the beach town of Santa Teresa.

Filla says Armstrong had cut her hair to shoulder length and dyed it dark brown. He says she also had bandaging on her nose and bruising around her eyes, but that was apparently from a surfing incident, not a disguise attempt. He says Armstrong had been taking yoga classes to "better her profession" of teaching a surfing-related type of yoga. Her "physical appearance changed slightly,” he says. "Would it have changed more as she started to create that, you know, type of foundation for herself there in Costa Rica? Possibly." Armstrong allegedly shot the 25-year-old cyclist out of jealousy after she went swimming with Armstrong's boyfriend.

"We believe she was staying at the hostel to really make her money stretch further down the road," Filla says, per the New York Post. He says Armstrong, who was a fugitive for 43 days, apparently also chose the hostel so she could meet new people and "establish herself." Susan Pamerleau, the US marshal for the Western District of Texas, says Armstrong's capture is "an example of combining the resources of local, state, federal, and international authorities to apprehend a violent fugitive," the Washington Post reports. (More Kaitlin Armstrong stories.)

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