On May 11, Moriah Wilson, a 25-year-old rising star in off-road riding, was found shot to death in a house where she was staying in Austin, Texas. Here’s a rough timeline of the events surrounding the tragic death of this young Vermonter from the Northeast Kingdom, based on her obituary, previous reporting and the police affidavit and arrest warrant, attached below.
> For the story on Moriah’s recent rise as a gravel racer, based on interviews with her family and coaches, see How Moriah Wilson Became a Star
> We ask that all who read this please consider donating to the Moriah Wilson GoFundMe page to help other young people.
2013: As a ski racer, Wilson finishes 3rd in Junior National Championships. She is also the captain of her soccer team at Burke Mountain Academy and a strong mountain biker who regularly practices with and outpaces the boys in her class.
2014 Graduates from Burke Mountain Academy. The school recently published this tribute to her.
2019: Wilson graduates from Dartmouth with an engineering degree. Moves to San Francisco and she and her boyfriend, Gunnar Shaw, begin traveling around the Bay Area competing in off-road bike races as an amateur. Wilson also starts a job with Specialized as a demand planner.
Most races are canceled due to Covid but riding solo, breaks Fastest-Known-Time record for riding the White Rim Trail in Moab, Utah.
April 10: Wins California’s Rock Cobbler race. It’s her first gravel race as a pro in “the first gravel race I’d ever done,” Wilsons says in her blog. She finishes 12th overall among 289 finishers.
June 5: Finishes 9th among the women at 200-mile Unbound gravel race in Emporia, Kansas.
August: Wilson finishes second at Colorado’s Leadville 100 mountain bike race.
October 23: Wilson wins Big Sugar, a 103-mile gravel race in Bentonville, Arkansas, again finishing 12th overall and beating a number of pro men.
Late October/early November: Wilson has a brief romantic relationship with pro cyclist and Red Bull sponsored athlete Colin Strickland, of Austin, Tx. Both are newly single. Strickland later resumes his relationship with his former girlfriend, Kaitlin Armstrong. He had been living with Armstrong in Austin and they worked together refurbishing mobile home trailers.
January: Strickland buys two guns, one for himself and one for his live-in girlfriend. Kaitlin Armstrong. According to the police affidavit, a tipster claims that Armstrong believed that Strickland was still involved with Wilson.
March 12: Wilson finishes second at the Mid South gravel race in Stillwater, Ok. Finishes, showers and returns to cheer on the very last finishers who roll in after 11: 00 pm.
April 9: Wins 80K Fuego mountain bike cross-country race at Sea Otter Classic in California, beating several Olympic contenders.
April 30: Wilson wins grueling 137-mile Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego, Ca., by a whopping 25 minutes.
May 11: Wilson, who had arrived in Austin, Tx. the day before to race the Gravel Locos race that weekend, is found unconscious with multiple bullet wounds in the home where she was staying with a friend. She left the house at 5:550 to swim at the Deep Eddy public pools with Strickland. They get a burger together and he drops her off at the house at 8:36 and drove away. Wilson’s roommate arrives home and finds Wilson in a pool of blood. Wilson is later pronounced dead.
May 12: Detectives visit Strickland and Armstrong’s home and find a vehicle that matches one that neighbor’s surveillance camera shows arriving at 8:37 pm on May 11 at the home where Wilson was staying. Strickland cooperates with the police. Police discover a previous warrant for an arrest for Armstrong, issued in 2018 after she left a business without paying for a $650 Botox treatment. They bring her in for questioning but she is released due to a discrepancy in the birth date on the warrant.
May 14: Armstrong takes a flight from Austin to Houston and then connects to Laguardia Airport.
May 17: Police issue a warrant for Armstrong’s arrest.
May 18: U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force say that Armstrong was dropped off at Newark International Airport but that there is no record of a person with her name
June 6: U.S. Marshals issue a $5000 reward for information leading to Armstrong’s arrest.armstrong warrant