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US police hunt woman accused of killing elite cyclist amid alleged love rivalry

A Texas woman is allegedly on the run from accusations of murdering a professional cyclist amid a love triangle involving another professional cyclist.

Anna Moriah Wilson, 25, was found dead in the bathroom of a home where she was staying in Austin, on 11 May. Just three days before she was supposed to participate in a 150-mile bike race in Hico, Texas, she was bleeding from numerous gunshot wounds, and empty bullet casings surrounded her, according to police records.

A sworn statement from police said Wilson had a brief romantic relationship with Colin Strickland, a professional cyclist based in Austin. Wilson and Strickland reportedly had a brief romantic relationship after Strickland broke up with Kaitlin Armstrong, 35, who had been his girlfriend for three years.

The relationship between Wilson and Strickland ended when Strickland resumed his relationship with Armstrong, police said. However, on the night she was killed, Strickland had been hanging out with Wilson, according to police.

Since then, police have identified Armstrong as the prime suspect in Wilson’s death, believing that she shot Wilson after Strickland dropped Wilson off at the home where she was staying.

According to text messages obtained by the police, Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts that evening.

“Hey! Are you out? I went to drop some flowers for Alison at her son’s house up north and my phone died. Heading home unless you have another good suggestion,” he wrote.

After Strickland dropped Wilson home at about 8.30pm that evening, a dark sport utility vehicle with a bike rack was captured by surveillance footage, pulling up to the house a minute later.

Police said the SUV appeared to be Armstrong’s.

Armstrong has been missing from Austin since 13 May. Police have secured a warrant to arrest her on a count of murder, and the US Marshals Service – which specializes in capturing fugitives – is helping to search for her, even asking the public for help in finding her, said the arrest warrant.

Authorities interviewed Strickland the day after Wilson’s body was found. He allegedly said he had been briefly involved in a relationship with Wilson months earlier.

Strickland also told police he bought two handguns for himself and Armstrong in recent months.

Police said they compared spent shell casings from the gun bought for Armstrong to the ones found near Wilson’s body, and they concluded that there was “significant” potential that her weapon was used to kill Wilson.

Armstrong was also interviewed by the police, according to their affidavit. When she was shown “video evidence of her vehicle,” Armstrong told police that “she had no explanation as to why it was in the area and did not make any denials surrounding the statement,” investigators wrote in the affidavit.

In the days that followed, various tipsters told police that Armstrong “became furious and was shaking with anger” in January when she found out that Strickland had continued his relationship with Wilson.

“Armstrong told the caller [she] was so angry Armstrong wanted to kill Wilson … [she] then proceeded to tell the caller [she] had either recently purchased a firearm or was going to,” the affidavit noted.

Armstrong last spoke with police on 13 May and has since deleted her social media accounts, the affidavit added.

Armstrong’s father, Michael Armstrong, told ABC’s Good Morning America in an interview broadcast Tuesday he does not believe his daughter could have killed Wilson. He said there were many “unanswered questions” about what happened.

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

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 in a statement. “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.”

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