Neighbors of the home where a professional cyclist was allegedly slain by a romantic rival in Texas reported not hearing any gunshots — suggesting the killer may have used a silencer to cover up the cold-blooded slaying.
David Harris, who lives next door to the home where Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson was killed, said he didn’t hear the alleged murder weapon — a 9mm Sig Sauer — go off the evening of the May 11 slaying in Austin, the US Sun reported.
“I think I would have heard gunshots next door if she was using a 9mm, so the shooter must have used a suppressor,” the engineer told the outlet.
Harris, however, said he may have heard the shooter fleeing on Wilson’s bike, which was later discovered about 60 feet from the crime scene.
“I heard somebody leave but I didn’t see anyone with my own eyes,” he told the outlet. “I had the sense that a bike was leaving. It was not a motorcycle.”
Authorities are searching for Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, a 34-year-old yoga instructor, in the murder of Wilson, 25, who had been visiting San Francisco to take part in a competition.
Wilson had gone swimming with Armstrong’s boyfriend, pro cyclist Colin Strickland, shortly before her body was found with multiple gunshot wounds on the bathroom floor, according to the arrest affidavit.
Another neighbor who was home at the time of the shooting also reported not hearing gunfire.
“We were home when it happened but we didn’t hear gunshots or any commotion,” the woman, who declined to give her name, told the outlet. “Our dogs only got agitated when the ambulance and the cops arrived.”
The woman provided surveillance video from the front of the property that authorities believe shows Armstrong’s Jeep at the time of the shooting.
The missing black 2012 Jeep Cherokee bears Texas license plate LDZ5608, according to CNN.
“It’s lucky that my camera caught her car because it isn’t on all the time. It gets triggered when cars drive by but not always. It was just her bad luck,” the resident said, referring to the suspect.
“If she planned the whole thing, she should have figured out that there [are] cameras around,” she added.
Armstrong’s boyfriend told investigators he had been in a relationship with her for three years, but that he had a fling with Wilson while they were on a break in October.
A tipster told police that when Armstrong learned in January about Strickland’s relationship with Wilson, she “became furious and was shaking in anger” — and wanted to kill Wilson, the Austin American-Statesman reported, citing an affidavit.
Strickland told authorities he had changed Wilson’s name in his phone and deleted text messages “to prevent Armstrong from finding them,” according to the affidavit.
Texts from the night of the slaying showed that Strickland lied to Armstrong about where he had been “to hide he was with Wilson throughout the evening,” the affidavit says.
Strickland bought two handguns around the same time, one for himself and another for Armstrong, officials said. Police said they found Armstrong’s 9mm handgun at the home where she lives with Strickland.
Investigators who compared shell casings from the pistol to those found at the home where Wilson was gunned down said the likelihood that the same weapon was used is “significant,” the paper said.
On May 17, Austin police issued a homicide warrant for Armstrong and requested assistance from the US Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force to capture the suspect.
Wilson, who planned to compete in the 157-mile race on May 14, was a star skier before becoming a top-level cyclist and excelling at “gravel racing,” a hybrid of road and mountain biking, CNN reported.
On the day she was killed, VeloNews described her in a profile as “the winningest woman in the American off-road scene.”
“Wilson has stormed onto the American off-road scene this year, scooping up nearly ten big wins before the summer season,” the news outlet reported.
Wilson had won multiple races this year, including the Grasshopper Adventure Series, the Shasta Gravel Hugger and the Rock Cobbler in California, according to the piece.
Last month, she reportedly won the Belgian Waffle Ride, about 25 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher.
Wilson, who was born in Littleton, New Hampshire, recently returned to her home state of Vermont, where she “spent many hours on the Kingdom Trails developing her skills and strength as a biker,” her obituary says.
“After graduating from Dartmouth, Moriah shifted gears and continued to pursue her athletic dreams as an elite bike racer,” it says.
“A few weeks before her death, she had chosen to leave her job at (bicycle company) Specialized and become a full time professional bike racer,” the obit continues.
“Moriah also enjoyed cooking, writing, and traveling — she especially loved Italy, Taco Tuesdays, maple creemees and playing Catan with her friends,” it adds.