A fugitive yoga teacher who allegedly gunned down her love rival in Texas and then fled to Costa Rica had a receipt for plastic surgery in her hostel locker and may have tried to change her appearance even further if she hadn’t been caught, US Marshals said.
Kaitlin Armstrong, 34, arrived at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on Sunday looking very different to the picture of her before her disappearance.
A witness to her arrest in Costa Rica claimed to have found a $6,350 receipt for cosmetic surgery amongst her belongings.
The witness alleged he had seen Armstrong with bandages on her nose before her June 29 arrest at a $50-a-night ‘treehouse hostel’ in Santa Teresa Beach.
ABC 13 video showed Armstrong in handcuffs and hiding her face behind her formerly ginger hair, which she cut and dyed dark brown to allegedly disguise herself in the Central American country.
Armstrong avoided questions from reporters before being taken in a vehicle to Harris County Jail.
She will be transferred to Austin, where she faces murder charges for allegedly killing cyclist Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, 25, during a feud over Armstrong’s on-and-off boyfriend, Colin Strickland.
She had been sought after by U.S. authorities since May 11.
Yoga teacher Kaitlin Armstrong, who allegedly gunned down her love rival in Texas and then fled to Costa Rica, looks strikingly different in a new mugshot (right) released after her extradition to the U.S.
Armstrong arrived at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on Sunday looking very different to the picture of her before her disappearance
Armstrong shown in Costa Rica before she was deported to the U.S.
ABC 13 video showed Armstrong in handcuffs and hiding her face behind her formerly red hair, which she cut and dyed brown to allegedly disguise herself in the Central American country
Armstrong will be transferred to Austin, where she faces murder charges for allegedly killing cyclist Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, 25, (pictured) during a feud over Armstrong’s on-and-off boyfriend, Colin Strickland
Brandon Filla, deputy U.S. marshal for Austin, Texas, said Armstrong was captured ‘at a good time’ before she could further alter her appearance.
Filla told the ‘TODAY Show’ that Armstrong had made the changes ‘to throw off law enforcement officials,’ and indicated she may’ve attempted to get tattoos to make her more unidentifiable.
On Saturday, it was revealed Armstrong likely traveled to Costa Rica using her sister’s passport and possibly underwent plastic surgery while on the run.
Zachary Paulsen, who claims he witnessed her arrest, said she had been asking for ways to cut back on costs before cops showed up for a routine check of the facility.
‘She was just asking about how to get around cheaper, and then the police came,’ Paulsen told Inside Edition. Armstrong was seized by Costa Rican officers after they couldn’t find her fake name in their database.
Paulsen alleged the fugitive left behind two American passports in a locker where she had stored her things. One of the documents bore her name and the other seemingly belonged to her lookalike sister, Christine Armstrong.
Photographs of the documents show one passport bearing the name Kaitlin Marie Armstrong and featuring the yoga instructor’s personal information and picture.
The other passpor seeminglyt belonged to a 31-year-old brunette named Christine Elizabeth Armstrong, believed to be Armstrong’s younger sister.
Filla confirmed to the news outlet that Armstrong had ‘cropped her hair about shoulder length’ and ‘dyed it dark brown.’ This was likely an attempt to better resemble Christine.
Armstrong was arrested at a $50-a-night ‘treehouse hostel’ in Santa Teresa Beach on Wednesday after having been sought after by U.S. authorities since May 11. She is pictured on the right during her arrest
Paulsen also claimed to have found a $6,350 receipt for cosmetic surgery under ‘another name’ among her belongings. He alleged Armstrong had been walking around the hostel with a ‘bandage on her nose and blood in her nostrils.’
The receipt doesn’t indicate what services were provided, but Paulsen claims Armstrong had bandaged her nose.
Armstrong fled to Costa Rica in an apparent attempt to carry out a double life under a false name.
She was posing as a woman named ‘Ari’ during her stay at Don Jon’s Lodge in the small town of Santa Teresa, which is home to only 3,000 people.
Fellow guests described her as a ‘strange’ loner who would ‘keep to herself,’ despite sleeping in an eight-bunkbed dorm.
A source revealed to DailyMail.com on Friday that Armstrong first arrived at the Don Jon’s Lodge on June 8.
Staff had repeatedly turned down her requests to work as a yoga instructor, but eventually relented and she started helping with the classes when the normal teacher was off. She was also working shifts on the front desk in reception.
The source said: ‘When the [regular] yoga girl couldn’t make it, [Armstrong] carried out the class instead of the other one. She didn’t always work.’
They continued: ‘She didn’t talk to anyone. She didn’t have to work in the morning and slept late. When she got up, she drank a lot of coffee. And she sat in some chairs, apart from the others.’
The 34-year-old would sit on chairs apart from the other guests who even thought she had left because they never saw her get home from her shifts at the resort (pictured, a file photo of the treehouses on the resort’s website)
Kaitlin Armstrong was described as a ‘strange’ loner who would ‘keep to herself’ while sleeping in an eight-bunkbed dorm (pictured, her bed) at Don Jon’s Lodge in Santa Teresa before she was arrested yesterday after six weeks on the run
Armstrong had led cops on a mammoth six-week chase across multiple countries and U.S. states, including Texas, New York and New Jersey before she was arrested.
Timeline of Kaitlin Armstrong’s movements since the murder of her boyfriend’s lover
May 11: Cyclist Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, 25, is found dead in an apartment in Austin, Texas, shortly after going swimming with Armstrong’s boyfriend, Colin Strickland.
May 13: Armstrong sells her Jeep Grand Cherokee, seen in surveillance footage outside the apartment where Wilson had been staying, and gets a check on May 15 for $12,200.
May 14: An anonymous police tipster tells investigators that Armstrong flew into a rage after discovering Strickland’s romance with Wilson.
Armstrong is questioned by cops on an old warrant but had to be released when police realized it had expired.
During the police interview Armstrong admitted it ‘doesn’t look good’ when cops pointed out she had been near the apartment at the time of the murder.
An anonymous caller tells Austin police that Armstrong had recently obtained a handgun.
Armstrong is released and goes on the run from cops by hopping on an Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Houston Hobby and then getting on a connecting Southwest flight to LaGuardia in New York.
May 17: The firearm located at Strickland’s residence was ‘test fired’ and police have determined it had ‘significant potential’ to be the gun used in the crime
May 18: Armstrong is last seen at Newark Liberty International Airport, a two-and-a-half hour drive from Camp Haven in Livingston Manor where she is said to have been spotted about a month ago.
June 30: Armstrong is arrested at a hotel in Costa Rica after a 43-day manhunt.
July 3: Armstrong is extradited to the U.S.
Earlier this week, DailyMail.com exclusively revealed footage of the alleged killer being marched into a police station in Costa Rica with a dramatically changed appearance.
Susan Pamerlea, the U.S. marshal for the Western District of Texas said Thursday: ‘The Marshals Service elevated the Kaitlin Armstrong investigation to major case status early in this investigation, which likely played a key role in her capture after a 43-day run.’
Armstrong stands accused of the May 11 shooting of Wilson, a cyclist whom she thought was having a relationship with her boyfriend, Colin Strickland.
The yoga instructor was linked to Wilson’s death after authorities found her ‘bleeding and unconscious’ at her friend’s apartment in Austin. She had sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
Police performed CPR on Wilson before pronouncing her dead at the scene. Wilson, a Vermont native and ‘world-class’ cyclist, was staying in Austin for a race.
Armstrong’s car was seen in the area around the time of the shooting, leading authorities to believe she had killed Wilson out of jealousy.
They later found out that earlier on May 11, Wilson had gone to dinner with Armstrong’s on-off boyfriend Strickland, who told police the two of them had been swimming at Deep Eddy Pool before getting burgers at Pool Burger.
Strickland said he picked her up from the apartment of her friend Caitlin Cash on his BMW motorbike at 5: 45 p.m. and dropped her off again at 8:36 p.m. – stopping shortly after to text Armstrong to tell her he had been dropping off flowers to another friend and that his phone had run out of battery.
But unknown to Strickland, Armstrong had allegedly been tracking both he and Wilson using cycling app Strava, which shows the routes runners and cyclists take.
A neighbor, who asked not to be named, previously told DailyMail.com her security camera caught Armstrong’s black Jeep Cherokee driving up to the property – above a garage at the back of a larger home – at 8:35 p.m.
She also told DailyMail.com that Armstrong had been caught on camera the previous day, riding a bike in the same spot.
Armstrong was questioned by Austin police officers on May 14, after they discovered the yoga instructor had an open misdemeanor warrant on a theft of services charge.
Cops used the opportunity to briefly question her about Wilson’s death several days earlier – after they received an anonymous tip that Armstrong flew into a rage when she discovered that Strickland had previously been romantically involved with Wilson.
During Wilson and Strickland’s secret meet-up, Armstrong’s 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee was spotted driving outside the home of Wilson’s friend, where the cyclist was staying
During the interview, cops showed Armstrong video surveillance of her SUV apparently coming to a stop outside the apartment, where Wilson was found dead on May 11. The footage was time-stamped just one minute after Wilson, 25, entered the building following a swim and dinner with Strickland.
Armstrong also admitted it ‘doesn’t look good,’ and a probable cause document for her arrest says she ‘had no explanation as to why it was in the area, and did not make any denials surrounding the statements presented to her.’
On May 13, five days before she fled the country, it was discovered that Armstrong had sold her black Jeep Grand Cherokee to a car dealership in Austin for $12,2000.
A police tipster, who did not want to be identified, told investigators Armstrong flew into a rage on discovering cyclist Strickland’s romance with fellow cyclist Wilson in January 2022.