Father of woman wanted in murder of professional cyclist speaks out

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — As the search for the woman wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson continues, the suspect’s father said he does not think his daughter is capable of the alleged murder.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ chief national correspondent Matt Gutman on Good Morning America Tuesday, Michael Armstrong spoke directly to his daughter, Kaitlin Armstrong, saying, “We love you … and we are going to figure this out.”

“I know her and I know how she thinks and I know what she believes and I know that she just would not do something like this,” Michael Armstrong said. “I know her.”

Last week, Austin police issued a warrant for the arrest of Armstrong, 35, on a first-degree murder charge in the fatal shooting of Wilson, 25, who they determined was romantically linked to Armstrong’s boyfriend, professional cyclist Colin Strickland.

Wilson, a rising elite cyclist, was in Austin for a gravel bike race earlier this month when she was found bleeding and unconscious with multiple gunshot wounds at a friend’s home the night of May 11, hours after meeting up with Strickland, police said. Austin police said at the time that the shooting did not appear to be random and they had a person of interest in the incident.

A car resembling Armstrong’s 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee was captured on surveillance footage from a neighboring residence stopping outside the friend’s home the night of the shooting, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. The likelihood that the gun used in the shooting matched one of two guns Strickland told police he bought for himself and Armstrong was “significant,” the affidavit stated.

When police interviewed Armstrong about the shooting on May 12, she was “confronted with video evidence of her vehicle” but “she had no explanation as to why it was in the area and did not make any denials surrounding the statements,” the affidavit stated. After further questioning, Armstrong requested to leave, according to the affidavit.

Strickland told police he hasn’t seen Armstrong since May 13, according to the affidavit. Armstrong has since deleted her social media accounts and “has not been seen or heard from since this time,” according to the affidavit.

On Friday, U.S. Marshals announced they are helping in the “fugitive investigation” and asked the public’s help in finding Kaitlin Armstrong.

Michael Armstrong said he believes there are “a lot of unanswered questions” in the case.

“I know that she did not do this,” he said.

The U.S. Marshals believe Kaitlin Armstrong may still be in the Austin area, and that finding her Jeep will be key.

“She was a realtor. She was a yoga teacher. So she had personal relationships here in the Austin area,” Deputy U.S. Marshal Brandon Filla told Good Morning America. “We hope that eventually if she had some kind of plan, that maybe she would reach out to those associates, and we would receive a tip based upon that.”

Strickland said he has been cooperating fully with detectives in the investigation.

“There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime,” Strickland said in a statement to ABC News Austin affiliate KVUE. “I am sorry, and I simply cannot make sense of this unfathomable tragedy.”

Strickland explained that after breaking up with Armstrong last year, he had a “brief romantic relationship” with Wilson before shortly resuming his relationship with Armstrong. His relationship with Wilson was “platonic and professional,” he said.

Wilson’s family said in a statement to ABC News that they are “devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter and sister.”

“Her life was taken from her before she had the opportunity to achieve everything she dreamed of,” they said. “Our family, and all those who loved her, will forever miss her.”

ABC News’ Lissette Rodriguez contributed to this report.

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