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The family of slain cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wlison is speaking out about the fledgling athlete’s life and passions before her murder earlier this month, while noting that the woman was not known to have been in a romantic relationship at the time.
Wilson, 25, died after she was shot multiple times on the night of May 11 inside an Austin, Texas, home, police have said. Investigators later enlisted the assistance of the US Marshal Service in finding their suspect, 35-year-old Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, according to a press release.
As the manhunt for Armstrong intensifies, Wilson’s family has released a statement saying they are “absolutely devastated” by their sister and daughter’s untimely death.
“There are no words that can express the pain and suffering we are experiencing due to this senseless, tragic loss,” the family wrote. “While we will not elaborate about the ongoing investigation, we do feel it important to clarify that at the time of her death, those closest to her clearly understood, directly from Moriah, that she was not in a romantic relationship with anyone.”
FUGITIVE KAITLIN ARMSTRONG WANTED IN MURDER OF CYCLIST MORIAH WILSON: US MARSHALS
Wilson, a professional bike racer, was originally from Vermont, but traveled to Texas frequently. She was in town for the Gravel Locos bike race at the time of her murder.
Her family described her as “a talented, kind, and caring young woman” whose life was taken before she could “achieve everything she dreamed of.”
The family has created a GoFundMe page to raise money toward community organizations to help youths “find self-confidence, strength, and joy through biking, skiing, and other activities that Moriah was passionate about.”
“We have endless ideas for how we can share Moriah’s life story and legacy to inspire and enrich the lives of others, and to do what we can to build a better world,” the family’s statement adds. “This will allow Moriah’s spirit to live on in all of our lives.”
Armstrong was said to have been in a relationship with an Austin-based bicyclist named Colin Strickland, who had “had a brief romantic relationship” with Wlison in Austin in 2021, according to local new station KVUE. Strickland said he and Armstrong were on a break.
“She returned to her home in California and about a month later, Kaitlin Armstrong and I reconciled and resumed our relationship,” Strickland said. “Since then I often saw Mo at cycling events, and always in public settings,” his statement further adds. “After our brief relationship in October 2021, we were not in a romantic relationship, only a platonic and professional one.”
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Wilson and Strickland had been together on the night she was killed, local affiliate FOX 7 reported. The pair went swimming at local Deep Eddy Pool and then went out to eat before Strickland dropped Wilson at her friend’s Austin home, the report states.
An anonymous tipster reportedly told investigators that when Armstrong found out the pair was together, she told the person she wanted to kill Wilson, and also said she had acquired a gun, according to FOX 7. Her SUV was then reportedly spotted on surveillance footage in the area of the crime scene.
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Marshals have described Armstrong as being 5-foot-8 inches tall and 125 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. Anyone with information related to the case is asked to call the US Marshal Service at 1-800-336-0102.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.