Neighbors who live next to the Texas apartment where cyclist Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson was staying say they didn’t hear any gunshots on the night of her murder – and believe her killer may have used a silencer to carry out the attack.
Wilson, 25, was found dead in an apartment in Austin on May 11 shortly after going swimming with fellow cyclist Colin Strickland.
Strickland’s girlfriend, yoga teacher Kaitlin Armstrong, is currently on the run after being charged with Wilson’s murder.
Armstrong, 35, may have been driven by jealousy and a belief that Strickland was cheating on her, according to police.
Neighbor, David Harris, 47, said said he did not hear any gunfire on the night of the murder.
‘I think I would have heard gunshots next door if she was using a 9mm so the shooter must have used a suppressor,’ he told the US Sun.
‘You have to be careful with those redheads, man.’
Around the time of the shooting, Harris said that he was in his garage, partially lifting up the door.
Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, 25, was found shot dead in an Austin apartment on May 11, 2022
Police have identified the suspected killer as yoga instructor Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34
Harris also said that he heard someone leave their apartment building around the time of the killing on a bicycle.
He said: ‘I heard somebody leave but I didn’t see anyone with my own eyes.’
He continued: ‘I had the sense that a bike was leaving. It was not a motorcycle. Maybe it was Armstrong leaving on the bike and she wanted to make it look like a theft.’
The only thing missing from Wilson’s room after her killing was her bike, which investigators said they found in a bamboo thicket more than 60 feet from the house
Wilson was killed shortly after going swimming with a fellow cyclist named Colin Strickland -and police say she may have been targeted by his jealous girlfriend
The only thing missing from Wilson’s room was her bike, which investigators said they found in a bamboo thicket more than 60 feet from the house.
Wilson was in town to prepare for a race but Harris said he didn’t know she was staying in the apartment and that he never met her.
He did say the woman who owns the apartment is ‘pretty shook-up.’ ‘She’s probably not going to live there anymore,’ he added.
Harris said 9mm silencers retail for anywhere between $500 and $900 in Texas which is one of the 42 states where it is legal own a silencer.
Popular 9mm silencers retail for anywhere between $500 and over $900
In 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law that removed that made it easier for gun owners to buy silencers in the state.
Previously, as in most states, ATF regulations mean that it can take up to 8 months for gun owners to get their hands on silencers after they have bought them.
A 9mm pistol typically produces 160 decibels of sound. On average, with a silencer, that is reduced to around 125 decibels.
Another neighbor said that she didn’t notice any gunshots and that her dogs only became agitated when emergency services arrived at the scene.
That neighbor said it was her surveillance camera that caught a car leaving the scene after the killing.
She said: ‘It’s lucky that my camera caught her car because it isn’t on all the time. It gets triggered when cars drive by but not always. It was just her bad luck. If she planned the whole thing she should have figured out that there [are] cameras around.’
A police tipster, who did not want to be identified, earlier told investigators that Armstrong flew into a rage on discovering cyclist Strickland’s romance with fellow cyclist Wilson in January 2022.
A police tipster, who did not want to be identified, earlier told investigators that Armstrong flew into a rage on discovering cyclist Strickland’s romance with fellow cyclist Wilson in January 2022
Strickland told police that he purchased two 9mm handguns for him and Armstrong around that time.
Authorities believe that Strickland and Wilson continued their relationship, something that Wilson’s family denies.
That tipster got in contact with cops on May 14, three days after Wilson was murdered. Armstrong was subsequently questioned by cops, and freed due to a technicality.
The informant told police: ‘Armstrong became furious and was shaking with anger. Armstrong told the caller Armstrong was so angry Armstrong wanted to kill Wilson.’
On the night of her death, Wilson had a secret pool date with Strickland after he lied to his girlfriend about dropping off flowers to a friend, it is claimed.
The informant told police: ‘Armstrong became furious and was shaking with anger. Armstrong told the caller Armstrong was so angry Armstrong wanted to kill Wilson’
Armstrong is said to have found out about that pool date, and is accused of shooting Wilson shortly after. The alleged killer’s black Jeep was filmed in the vicinity of the house where Wilson was killed around the same time she was murdered.
Strickland dropped Wilson off at 8.30pm at a friend’s home in East Austin.
Armstrong did not arrive back at the house she shared with Strickland until 9.20pm, he told police.
Meanwhile, Armstrong is said to have blocked Wilson from contacting her boyfriend on his phone. That is said to have prompted him to store her under another name so he could contact her secretly.
Wilson was seen as a rising star in the sport. She had just turned professional, leaving her job at California-based bike company Specialized, and weeks before had taken the first lead for elite women in the Life Time Grand Prix off-road series
Around the time the couple saw Wilson, 25, at an event in January 2022 and the other woman had reportedly texted Strickland asking: “Hey! Sooo would like to talk to you at some point. Had originally texted you on Friday but appears my texts aren’t going through again. This weekend was strange for me and I just want to know what’s going on. If you just want to be friends (seems to be the case) then that’s cool, but I’d like to talk about it cause honestly my mind has been going circles and don’t know what to think.’
Colin Strickland, 35, replied: ‘Hey Mo- feel very shitty for putting you in position where you don’t feel comfortable. Kaitlin came along the go to meeting about the sprinter/spartan hotel project. In hindsight, this was not good idea.’
Wilson reportedly believed her and Strickland were still in a relationship at this point.
After Armstrong discovered their fling, she reportedly contacted Wilson several times and had even called her to tell her ‘she was the one who was dating Strickland.’
Strickland later issued a statement, and insisted his relationship with Wilson was ‘platonic and professional’
Her boyfriend later changed Wilson’s name in his phone, so that his girlfriend would not know who he was chatting with ‘so they could continue their relationship,’ and that Armstrong had blocked his lover’s number on his phone. He also reported ‘deleted’ messages in his phone so she wouldn’t find them, as well.
The unidentified friend said Strickland and Wilson had an ‘on-again off-again’ relationship and had met several times and that Armstrong had recently begun following the cyclist on Instagram.
On the day of Wilson’s murder, the cyclist reportedly told her friend Caitlin Cash – who called 911 – she was ‘going to meet up with friend named Colin to go swimming’ at Austin’s famed Deep Eddy pool. Cash left the residence around 5.30pm and when she returned, she noticed the door was unlocked and observed Wilson ‘lying on the bathroom floor covered in blood and no one else was inside.’
Cash said her door requires a ‘unique code’ to open and said she had received a notification that the code was used around 5.55pm, showing that the door was locked – indicating that Wilson had left to go swimming, the affidavit said. She said she received another notification around 8.30pm, indicating Wilson had returned.
She said the password had recently been changed and her and Wilson were the only two who knew it.
Strickland told police he dropped Wilson off around 8.45pm and had stopped in an alleyway to text Armstrong: ‘”Hey! Are you out? Went to drop some flowers for Alison at her sons house up north and my phone died. Heading home unless you have another food suggestion.’
‘Strickland had lied about his whereabouts to Armstrong to hide he was with Wilson throughout the evening,’ the affidavit said.
During an interview with police, Armstrong did not deny that her vehicle was in the area at the time, but ‘had no explanation as to why it was in there.’
When the yoga teacher was questioned about her boyfriend’s affair, she reportedly ‘rolled her eyes in an angry manner.’ When authorities asked if she was ‘upset’ and ‘just in the area,’ Armstrong reportedly nodded her head and admitted it ‘didn’t look good,’ the affidavit read.
Recently released video footage shows a fugitive yoga teacher’s car drive past the love rival’s house around the same time the woman was shot dead inside.
On May 17, the firearm located at Strickland’s residence was ‘test fired’ and police have determined it had significant potential’ that that gun could have been used in the crime.
Investigators are also probing whether exercise app Strava led Armstrong to Wilson’s location. It is used by runners and cyclists to share exercise routes, and Wilson’s profile – which has now been deleted – was publicly visible.
She uploaded a cycle route beginning and ending at the Austin property where she was staying on May 11, the date of her death, disclosing her location.
Armstrong’s profile has recently been changed from public to private, although it’s unclear if she made that change herself.
Strickland later issued a statement, and insisted his relationship with Wilson was ‘platonic and professional.’
He wrote: ‘There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime.’
He said he was cooperating fully with the police.
‘I admired her greatly, and considered her a close friend,’ he wrote. ‘I am deeply grieving her loss.’
Wilson was seen as a rising star in the sport.
She had just turned professional, leaving her job at California-based bike company Specialized, and weeks before had taken the first lead for elite women in the Life Time Grand Prix off-road series.
She had a busy season of racing ahead of her, with competitions across the United States and in East Africa.
Wilson grew up in East Burke, Vermont.
Her father, Eric Wilson, was in the U.S. ski team, while her aunt, Laura, competed in the Olympics as a cross-country ski racer.
In a statement, her family said: ‘While the tragic loss of Moriah is unfathomable, at the same time we want everyone to join us in celebrating her life, accomplishments, and love for others.
‘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.’
The family has started a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $100,000 to ‘to help fund community organizations that help youth find self-confidence, strength, and joy through biking, skiing, and other activities that Moriah was passionate about.’
She skied competitively throughout her youth, continuing to compete at Dartmouth College, where she also played soccer.
She graduated with a degree in engineering.
‘Moriah Wilson was all light and laughter,’ said Rebecca Rusch, mountain bike and gravel hall-of-famer.
‘She was talented, intelligent, gentle, fast, focused, and graceful.
‘She had a poise and inner strength that is so rare in any human, especially one as young as 25.
‘There was a bubble of positivity and joy around her, and we all wanted to be in her bubble.’