Kaitlin Armstrong, who was 34 at the time, hid from the police in Costa Rica after her love rival was killed. While she was there, she pretended to be a woman named Ari to win over a man she met at a tattoo shop.
Armstrong told the man she dated under a fake name, Teal Akerson, that she had been through a “traumatic breakup” after they met in June in Costa Rica. Akerson says that she told him she wasn’t ready to get close to him because she hadn’t “healed” from a recent breakup and wasn’t ready to move on.
Akerson also said that the two of them went out on several dates before Armstrong was caught on June 29. He was shocked when he saw old photos of Armstrong after she was arrested for allegedly changing her appearance with plastic surgery, as reported by DailyMail. Zachary Paulsen, who was there when Armstrong was arrested, found a $6,350 receipt for cosmetic surgery that Armstrong had paid for under a different name. Akerson said that he now understood why Armstrong insisted on hanging out in quiet places. ”
Armstrong was arrested on June 29 at Don Jon’s Surf and Yoga Lodge in the small Costa Rican town of Santa Teresa. He was sent back to the United States on July 2. Armstrong is accused of killing professional cyclist Moriah Wilson in a fit of jealousy on May 11 in Austin, Texas. Wilson and Armstrong’s boyfriend Colin Strickland, who is also a cyclist, were allegedly having an affair.
Akerson told the Austin American Statesman that he knew about the case but “didn’t put any of it together” because she looked different. He first talked to her outside of a tattoo shop, where he remembered her as “Ari Tattoo.” Then, he and she smoked marijuana together and spent time together. They talked up until three days before she was arrested. Akerson said, “Ari was a strange person. I met her outside the tattoo shop, where she was waiting on a bench while her friends got tattoos. I was drinking a beer in the lounge.”
Teal Akerson, shown in the picture, went on a few dates with a woman named Armstrong, who went by the name “Ari.” He was shocked to find out that she was wanted for killing a rival in love. (Photo by Teal Akerson on Facebook.)
Teal Akerson (shown) went out on a few dates with a woman named Armstrong, who went by the name “Ari.” He was shocked to find out that she was wanted for murdering a rival in love. (Photo by Teal Akerson/Facebook)
I could tell she was trying to talk to me and get to know me, so I started talking to her more and more until we ended up exchanging phone numbers “he said. “We went on a bunch of dates, but she told me that she had just been through a really traumatic breakup and wasn’t ready to get close, so we were just friends,” Akerson said.
He also said, “We wanted to go to different places, so we went to a lot of different places. Most of the time, she wanted to be somewhere quiet with not many people. You wouldn’t think I put any of it together, but I didn’t. When I found out what she was really doing and why she was running, I understood why she didn’t want to be seen.” “Why she wanted to go to quiet places made a little more sense,” he said.
He also said that Armstrong was wearing a bandage on her nose, which she said was from a surfing accident, and that he did not recognize the photos that police released. Akerson said that he didn’t know “Ari” was Armstrong until he saw photos of her after her surgery. Armstrong said that she went by the name “Ari” after she was arrested, and she was sent back to Houston. She was taken to the Travis County Jail on July 5 and is still there because her bail is $3.5 million. Other Costa Ricans said that Armstrong “seemed normal” and that she spent most of her time teaching yoga and working part-time at the front desk of the hostel where she stayed.
Authorities say that Armstrong used the $12,200 she got from selling her SUV before she left the U.S. on May 14 to pay for her new life in Costa Rica. Inside Edition said that she had been staying in expensive places like hostels. Deputy US Marshal Brandon Filla said at a press conference that Armstrong was trying to build a career in yoga in Costa Rica. She went to yoga classes under a fake name, which helped the police find her.
Wilson had been shot several times and died as a result. Investigators found that she had been hit several times with a 9mm bullet, which is the same size of bullet that Strickland had reportedly bought for himself and Armstrong. A police report says that Armstrong was charged with first-degree murder on May 19.