Colin Strickland 'tortured by proximity' to Mo Wilson's murder

Colin Strickland rides the rocky terrain of west Texas in March 2021
Colin Strickland rides the rocky terrain of west Texas in March 2021 (Image credit: Sean Berry/ Red Bull Content Pool )

As details begin to emerge about the murder of gravel star Anna Moriah "Mo" Wilson, including the arrest warrant issued for Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, another well-known gravel racer, Colin Strickland, has admitted to having romantic relationships with both women at different times.

Wilson was shot to death on the night of May 11, 2022. Police are still seeking Armstrong, who faces felony first-degree murder charges.

In a statement, posted to social media by KVUE Austin investigative journalist Tony Plohetski, Strickland insisted his relationship with Wilson was "platonic and professional", writing, "There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime."

Strickland admitted to having a week-long romantic relationship with Wilson late last year at a time when he and Armstrong had broken up. Wilson returned to California, and Strickland says he and Armstrong later reunited.

Wilson was staying with a friend at a Maple Avenue apartment in Austin in preparation to compete in the Gravel Locos race on May 14, 2022. According to a search warrant issued earlier this week, Wilson sent a text message to the friend saying that she was going for a swim with a male friend. She returned home a few hours later.

When the friend returned to the apartment, they found Wilson unresponsive and "covered in blood", having been shot multiple times. She was pronounced dead as a result of gunshot wounds and the incident was declared a homicide.

Police obtained video from a neighbor's security camera showing that another vehicle arrived after Wilson returned to the apartment, and police are said to have matched it to an SUV registered to a woman who lived in South Austin. They later issued an arrest warrant for Armstrong.

Strickland, in his statement, did not state whether he had met Wilson that evening but said he had been cooperating with the investigators and confirmed his relationship with Armstrong.

Colin Strickland's statement

I am reeling from grieving Mo Wilson's death and from the facts that have emerged during the investigation. I cannot begin to imagine the pain felt by Mo's family and her close friends.

There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime. I am sorry and I simply cannot make sense of this unfathomable tragedy.

Although it will be a matter of small consolation to anyone else who cared for Mo, I want you to know that I have cooperated fully with investigators ever since I learned the terrible news and I will continue to do so until some form of justice is served.

As a point of clarification to facts previously reported, Moriah Wilson and I had a brief romantic relationship from late October-early November 2021 that spanned a week or so while Wilson was visiting Austin.

At the time, she and I had both recently ended relationships. She returned to her home in California and about a month later, Kaitlin Armstrong and I reconciled and resumed our relationship.

Since then I often so Mo at cycling events, and always in public settings. We both competed in Bentonville, AR, Stillwater and Monterrey, CA. We also met for a 4-hour training ride in Santa Cruz after the Sea Other (sic) Classic in Monterrey.

After our brief relationships in October of 2021, we were not in a romantic relationship, only a platonic and professional one. It was not my intention to pursue along an auxiliary romantic relationship that would mislead anyone. Moriah and I were both leaders in this lonely, niche sport of cycling, and I admired her greatly and considered her a close friend. I am deeply grieving her loss.

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