Prosecutors in Kaitlin Armstrong’s Texas trial have revealed the bizarre online searches she made while eluding law enforcement last year after allegedly killing her love rival.
Ms Armstrong is standing trial at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin over the murder of rising pro cyclist Moriah Wilson. Ms Armstrong targeted Wilson because the two women were in a love triangle with Colin Strickland, Ms Armstrong’s then on-and-off boyfriend, prosecutors have claimed.
Wilson was found lying dead in a pool of blood on 11 May 2022 by her friend Caitlin Cash, who testified last week in the highly-publicised trial. Just hours before she was killed, Wilson had gone swimming and had dinner with Mr Strickland, whom she had bonded with over their passion for professional cycling.
Ms Armstrong was on the detectives’ radar in the aftermath of the murder and was briefly arrested on a separate standing warrant on 12 May, but she was ultimately released over an error with her birth date in police records. Just days after the murder, Ms Armstrong fled the country, prompting an international manhunt that ended 43 days later when she was arrested in Costa Rica.
On Tuesday, Austin police detective Richard Spitler testified for the prosecution about the timeline of Ms Armstrong’s escape and the online searches she made while on the run, according to NewsNation correspondent Alex Caprariello.
Activity from Kaitlin Armstrong’s iCould accounts reportedly shows that she searched for her name online and for “can imei be tracked if not making phone calls.”
Some of her searches led to articles about her escape to Costa Rica and Wilson’s murder. Ms Armstrong also searched “can pineapples burn your fingerprints” and appeared to land on an article that debunked the myth.
Throughout the five weeks that she was on the run, the yoga teacher looked up online information about rhinoplasty and when she was eventually found by authorities on 30 June 2022, she had gotten a nose job and had her hair dyed brown.
Prosecutors introduced evidence of Ms Armstrong’s digital print in the immediate aftermath of the murder.
On 13 May, two days after Wilson was killed, she received a receipt from Uber for a ride from her address to the airport. The Uber ride took place around 9.30pm that day.
An email from Southwest Airlines for a $397.28 flight was shown next. The trip was New York-bound with a layover in Nashville, Tennessee that was eventually changed for Houston.
Another email showed a receipt from United Airlines for a $146 flight from Newark to San Jose, Costa Rica on 18 May. A prosecutor reportedly prompted laughs when he quipped that it was a “pretty good flight.”
Last week, jurors heard testimony from Sgt Timothy Price who responded to the scene of the murder. He said that Wilson’s bike was found lying in the middle of bamboo a few yards from the apartment.
The bike was swabbed by another crime scene investigator and DNA found on it was “highly likely” to have come from Armstrong, prosecutors told the court during opening statements.
The defence tried to argue earlier this week that DNA from Ms Armstrong may have transferred to Wilson after the latter rode on Mr Strickland’s motorcycle and wore his helmet on the night she was killed.