Ex-FBI agent on Armstrong: Anyone who helped is 'on the hook'
CHICAGO (NewsNation) — Following the capture in Costa Rica of Kaitlin Armstrong — the Texas woman accused of killing professional cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson — one former FBI agent is predicting more charges to follow.
“If she was aided and abetted in regards to her travel and avoidance of being brought to justice, certainly anyone can be charged if they help another flee,” retired FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer told NewsNation’s Keleigh Beeson on Friday’s edition of “NewsNation Prime.”
“So whoever helped get her that passport is going to be on the hook for some charges,” Coffindaffer added.
Authorities said Armstrong sold her vehicle just three days after the alleged crime and boarded a flight from Austin to Houston shortly after being questioned by authorities.
Investigators then discovered that Armstrong was using a fraudulent passport when she boarded a United Airlines flight from Newark International Airport and arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica, on May 18 — a feat, Coffindaffer said, that’s very difficult to do alone.
“Certainly she had help. The average American can’t just walk out and get a valid passport without help,” the former federal agent said. “Whoever she went to is going to have to be held responsible for their role in aiding and abetting her disappearance to Costa Rica.”
Coffindaffer also theorized that Armstrong may have chosen to hide in Costa Rica — a country with a U.S. extradition treaty — simply because it was cost efficient, convenient, and perhaps allowed her to find work as a yoga instructor at one of its resorts.
Armstrong, who reportedly had a bandage on her face and bruising under her eyes when she was apprehended, claimed the injury was caused by a surfing accident. But Coffindaffer said she thinks it’s “very possible” the bruising was caused by a plastic surgery procedure to further obscure her identity.
Armstrong’s actions — making travel plans, obtaining fake documentation, etc. — likely took “a couple of weeks, minimally, to plan,” Coffindaffer added.
Armstrong was captured at a Costa Rica hostel Wednesday, more than six weeks after the murder of Moriah Wilson on May 11. Wilson, a pro cyclist, was shot and killed at a home in east Austin. Wilson is originally from Vermont.
An anonymous tipster later told police that Armstrong believed her boyfriend was romantically involved with Wilson, leading her to become “furious,” “shaking with anger” and wanting to “kill” Wilson.