The yoga teacher wanted for the murder of a star cyclist was last spotted at Newark airport one day after a warrant had been issued for her arrest, with police now offering $5,000 for information leading to her capture.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong is accused of shooting 25-year-old Anna Moriah Wilson at a home in Texas on 11 May when a dramatic love triangle turned deadly.
Ms Armstrong, a 34-year-old yoga teacher and amateur cyclist, is charged with first-degree murder but – almost one month on from the slaying – she remains a fugitive on the run and her current whereabouts are unknown.
The US Marshals Service revealed on Monday that her last known sighting was back on 18 May when she was dropped off at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
This sighting came just one day after Austin police obtained a warrant for her arrest, investigators said.
It is not clear where Ms Armstrong went next.
A search of outbound flights from Newark airport found no reservations under the suspect’s name.
US Marshals had previously determined that the 34-year-old boarded a flight from Austin International Bergstrom Airport to Houston Hobby Airport on 14 May.
There she boarded a connecting flight to LaGuardia Airport in New York City.
It is not clear where she went between arriving into LaGuardia and arriving at Newark four days later.
The two airports are a roughly 26-mile drive apart, suggesting she may have stayed in the New York City/New Jersey area during that time.
With the manhunt entering another week, the US Marshals upgraded the investigation to major case status on Monday and offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the fugitive’s arrest.
Susan Pamerleau, the US Marshal for the western District of Texas, urged Ms Armstrong to turn herself into authorities, warning that investigators will not stop the search until they find her.
“Kaitlin Armstrong is accused of a very serious crime that she needs to answer for,” she said in a statement.
“The best thing she can do at this point, wherever she is, is surrender to authorities, so she can return safely to Austin and answer the charges against her.
“She needs to know the Marshals are not going to stop looking for her.”
Law enforcement appears to have been one step behind the accused killer from the get-go.
In the immediate aftermath of Ms Wilson’s murder, police briefly detained Ms Armstrong before letting her go – enabling her to go on the run – because of an invalid warrant.
An arrest warrant revealed that Ms Armstrong was taken into custody one day after the murder.
After learning that Ms Armstrong had a warrant out for her arrest on an unrelated charge, the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force detained her and took her to the Austin Police Department Homicide Unit office for an interview.
However, during the interview, detectives learned that the arrest warrant was not valid and so she was free to leave.
After relaying her right to leave, Ms Armstrong got up and left. She has not been seen since.
Officials then believed up until 25 May that she was still in the Austin area when she had instead headed to New York City 11 days earlier.
The murder, which has shocked the cycling community, unfolded on the night of 11 May when Ms Wilson was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds at her friend’s home in Austin.
Ms Wilson had flown from San Francisco to Austin one day earlier and was staying with the friend as she planned to take part in a 150-mile gravel bike race that weekend.
Police were called to the home at around 10pm that night when the friend returned to the house to find the front door unlocked.
The friend went inside and found Ms Wilson lying on the bathroom floor covered in blood from multiple gunshot wounds.
Officers arrived on the scene as the friend was performing CPR.
The victim was pronounced dead minutes later.
Investigators say Ms Armstrong shot Ms Wilson because she believed she was having an affair with her boyfriend Colin Strickland.
Ms Wilson, a rising star in professional cycling, and Mr Strickland, a champion gravel racer, briefly dated last October when he split from Ms Armstrong before reuniting one or two weeks later.
Text messages and an account from Ms Wilson’s friend, revealed in court documents, indicate that the former lovers may have rekindled their romance sometime before Ms Wilson’s murder.
Ms Armstrong had recently discovered their apparent affair and had spoken of wanting to get a gun to “kill” her love rival, an anonymous source told police.
Mr Strickland meanwhile has insisted that their relationship was “platonic” at the time of the victim’s death.
Mr Strickland has admitted to police that he lied to his live-in girlfriend of three years about his whereabouts the night Ms Wilson was murdered, telling her he had taken flowers to a friend’s house when he was actually swimming with the victim.
Moments after he dropped Ms Wilson back off at her friend’s house a car matching Ms Armstrong’s was captured on surveillance footage approaching the property, according to an affidavit.
Two days after the police interviewed Ms Armstrong, police received a tip from an anonymous caller who said that she had discovered Mr Strickland and Ms Wilson were having an affair in January.
The woman told investigators that the 34-year-old “became furious and was shaking in anger” and told her that she “was so angry Armstrong, wanted to kill Wilson”, according to the warrant.
Ms Armstrong then allegedly told the woman that she had either recently bought a firearm or was going to.
Police said Mr Strickland bought two firearms for him and his girlfriend around that time.
One of the guns matches the ballistics at the scene of the murder, according to the police.
Ms Wilson’s family said in a statement that she was not in a relationship with anyone at the time of her death.
“There are no words that can express the pain and suffering we are experiencing due to this senseless, tragic loss,” the family said.
“Moriah was a talented, kind and caring young woman. Her life was taken from her before she had the opportunity to achieve everything she dreamed of.”
Ms Wilson had been expected to win the race on 14 May in Hico that she had travelled to Texas for.
She was considered a rising star of women’s cycling and recently won the 222km Belgian Waffle Ride California.
Ms Armstrong is described as white, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing approximately 125 pounds.
She has light brown long, curly hair and hazel eyes and was last seen on surveillance video wearing a blue denim jacket, black shirt with a pink design on the chest, white jeans, black and white tennis shoes, a black COVID mask, and a possible yoga mat carrier on her shoulders.
Anyone with information on Armstrong’s whereabouts is urged to contact the US Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102 or submit a tip using the USMS Tips app. Tips may also be sent to the Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-893-8477.