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Moriah Wilson murder: Colin Strickland ‘in hiding’ until suspect Kaitlin Armstrong found

Gravel racer is said by close friend to be afraid for his safety from partner who was last seen taking plane to New York City

Gravel racer Colin Strickland is said by a friend to have gone to ground until his partner Kaitlin Armstrong, currently on the run after being accused of murdering Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, has been caught due to fears for his own safety.

The 35-year-old dated fellow gravel racer Wilson briefly last year after he and long-term partner Armstrong broke up.

However, the pair subsequently reconciled, and while he remained in contact with Wilson, aged 25, he has insisted that their relationship was “platonic and professional.”

Wilson had been in Austin, Texas ahead of competing in the Gravel Locos race which she was favourite to win when the friend with whom she was staying found her dead at home with multiple gunshot wounds at 10.30pm on Wednesday 11 May.

She had been swimming with Strickland earlier in the day, and he drove her home on his motorbike. Shortly after he left, a vehicle registered to the address where he and Armstrong live arrived at the property, and she has been identified as the prime suspect in the investigation with a warrant issued for her arrest.

US Marshals, who are leading the search for the 34 year old, released CCTV pictures earlier this week which led them to believe that Armstrong, who disappeared on Friday 13 May, took a flight from Austin to Houston and transferred onto another one to LaGuardia airport in New York City.

> Moriah Wilson murder: Suspect Kaitlin Armstrong ‘fled to New York’

A close friend of Strickland’s, who gave his name only as David, told the Daily Mail: “None of us can sleep. He’s staying out of sight until she's caught. I do know where he is but I’m not mentioning where for his safety.

“He's not in Texas – he’s got completely out of Dodge.”

David, who worked at Wheelhouse Mobile, the vintage trailer refurbishment business owned by Strickland and Armstrong, said: “She was our accounts payable manager for our business and set up the website and things like that.

“She had nothing to do with the building processes or design or anything that was more in my wheelhouse.

“Before the murder, the person I knew was a really sweet and nice human that was trying to make her dream in this world, whatever that was.

“She always had goals she was after and just always kept busy. No red flags for anything that would result in an outcome like this that we were aware of.”

Referring to Wilson’s murder, he said: “After it happened, she [Armstrong] didn’t do what most soap operas would have had her do, which is go back home and kill the one thing you can't have [Strickland]. It’s dark.

“We think we live in a world where we can see crazy on people’s faces – show up at a gas station and there's a guy there on drugs and you think, that face has got crazy written on it – I'm going to go to the next gas station.

“With this girl, there was not one red flag. Not one. No rage, drama, nothing. Nothing showed out over the last year and that tells me that there's something buried so deep that Mo being in town lit the wick to everything that was suppressed prior to that.”

Armstrong, a yoga teacher who besides the trailer business with Strickland last year began working in a real estate office in Austin, where she also owned three rental properties, was interviewed by police following Wilson’s murder but released on a technicality, since when she has gone on the run.

It is thought that she believed that Strickland – who in recent days has been dropped by most of his sponsors, including Rapha and Specialized – and Wilson had rekindled their romantic relationship, and that she tracked their movements through their respective Strava accounts.

David said: “I'm not trying to paint a picture but if it was just jealousy, there'd be so many more jealousy deaths that we’d see every day.

“That's the scariest part about it – she bottled and suppressed it for so long that she went out and did an act like this.

“It's just so disturbing. I can't imagine what that [Mo’s] family’s going through because their daughter just got caught in the middle – the wrong place at the wrong time with a crazy person,” he added.

Wilson’s family have made it clear that they do not believe she was in a relationship at the time of her death.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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