Colin Strickland says he has been in "shell-shocked grieving mode" since the murder of fellow gravel racer Moriah 'Mo' Wilson who was shot dead in Texas last month, and still can not recall any time his then-girlfriend — on-the-run prime suspect, Kaitlin Armstrong — showed she may be capable of such violence.
Following the shooting, Armstrong fled the state and has been on the run ever since. Two weeks ago US Marshals offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the fugitive who was last traced to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
In an earlier interview Strickland said he would be "in hiding" until his partner is caught due to fears for his own safety. The 35-year-old had previously dated fellow gravel racer Wilson during a break in his relationship with Armstrong last October, and visited Wilson to go swimming earlier in the day before the shooting.
However, criticising the "skewed" picture painted in an affidavit for Armstrong's arrest warrant, Strickland insisted any romantic involvement with Wilson ended once he rekindled his relationship with Armstrong.
"I had ended the relationship with Kaitlin and it was just interesting timing because Mo had come to Austin to visit a friend that exact week," Strickland told The Sun.
"It was completely unplanned and yeah, we started spending some time together. That was clearly expressed to Kaitlin at that time and Kaitlin dated other men directly after that.
"We were clearly going our separate ways but we just didn't get enough inertia to separate. Kaitlin and I were involved in several businesses together. Mo and I communicated about twice a month (after that) and I think it was skewed in a very misleading way in the affidavit."
The police report said an anonymous caller had contacted Austin Police Department on May 14, saying: "Just discovered Strickland was having a romantic relationship with Wilson." The report also stated "Armstrong told the caller Armstrong was so angry Armstrong wanted to kill Wilson".
Commenting on his relationship with Armstrong, Strickland said he "had no indication" she could be capable of "anything like that" and has been in "shell-shocked grieving mode" since the shooting on Wednesday 11 May.
"I would say she is one of the least volatile people I have ever met and that's why it's so absolutely shocking," he continued.
"She had sides to her personality that I don't think she shared with anybody. I had no indication of anything like that."
After meeting for a swim, Strickland dropped Wilson back at her friend's house — where she was staying while visiting Austin for the Gravel Locos race — at around 8.30pm.
A dark-coloured SUV, which matches a vehicle owned by Armstrong, was then spotted on a neighbour's CCTV camera stopping outside the house.
The 25-year-old was found with fatal gunshot wounds, and Armstrong identified as the prime suspect in the investigation. US Marshals now know Armstrong took a flight from Austin to Houston on Saturday 14 May before boarding a connecting Southwest Airlines flight.
Prior to fleeing the state she had been interviewed by police in Austin but released on a technicality.
Besides the arrest warrant issued for the suspected murder, a warrant was subsequently issued against her for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.