KAITLIN Armstrong was asking to be caught after she concocted a “bonkers” plan to hide out from police at a yoga retreat in Costa Rica after allegedly gunning down her love rival, a friend says.
The 34-year-old, who has been charged with the murder of Moriah Wilson, was arrested at Don Jon’s Surf and Yoga Lodge in Santa Teresa on June 30 后 43 days on the run.
Investigators said they used “old-fashioned” police techniques to track 阿姆斯特朗 down, noting that she had attended numerous yoga classes around Costa Rica which created a paper trail for them to follow.
Armstrong had even been filling in on the front desk and occasionally teaching Vinyasa yoga classes at Don Jon’s Lodge in the weeks preceding her arrest.
Deputy US Marshall Brandon Filla said during a press conference earlier this month that Armstrong was “really trying to build something where she could instruct yoga there in Costa Rica.”
A former friend of Armstrong’s, WHO studied yoga alongside her during an intensive teaching course in Bali, 印度尼西亚, 在 2018, told The US Sun the accused murderer was “stupid” for believing she could start her life anew in the buzzing tourist hub of Santa Teresa.
“It’s kind of weird what she did,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, 说.
“我是说, she obviously put a lot of thought into it, but at the same time, it’s like if you’re gonna go on the run, go to Panama, Cuba, where you can’t get extradited or something.”
The source added that they were “非常, very surprised” at where Armstrong decided to hole up and try to evade capture.
“If you were a smart person on the run you would hibernate for a long time – 很长时间, but the more I think about it, the crazier it all is.
“It’s crazy to potentially have murdered someone and then go straight back into a busy town – a busy tourist town – and just teach yogas as if nothing had happened.
By the time Armstrong was found by police, she had drastically altered her appearance, dying her once long reddish-blonde hair a dark shade of brown and cutting it to shoulder-length, and allegedly forking out more than $6,000 on a nose job.
She also allegedly used several different aliases – 贝丝, Liz, and Ari Martin – and was traveling around the tropical central American nation with the fraudulent use of a passport believed to belong to her younger sister, Christine Armstrong.
The US Sun’s source, who hasn’t seen Armstrong for four years, said they likely wouldn’t have recognized her had they passed by her in the street.
“I don’t think I’d have recognized her straightway – I’d probably have been scratching my head if I’d had seen her,” 他们说.
“If I didn’t know all this had happened I wouldn’t have recognized her at all.”
The source spent four weeks with Armstrong at a retreat in Canggu, Bali, 在一月 2018 learning how to become an instructor of Vinyasa yoga.
During an initiation ceremony for the 200-hour course, 阿姆斯特朗 tearfully told the circle of 25 other participants that she decided to run off to Bali because she wanted to “change something back home.”
Armstrong never divulged what that something was, but the attendee told The US Sun her reasoning for taking part in the course was more “sensitive” 和 “伤心” than most.
“You could tell that some people weren’t really happy with their current situation back at home – and she was one of them,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, 说.
“The way she was talking, you could tell she wanted to improve [她自己].
“But her soul … she had this sweet side. She didn’t want to have this pain inside and she was seeking refuge or change or healing to try and eliminate [她] internal struggle.”
CAUSING A SCENE
For the majority of the course, Kaitlin – while never short of a smile – was described as being quiet and reserved, speaking only when she needed to speak.
And though she was friendly with everyone in her class, she didn’t appear to forge any close or lasting friendships.
“I think she was more solitary in that respect,” 消息人士说.
“She didn’t stand out and she didn’t want to; she just kind of kept to herself.”
The source added that they never really “clicked” with Armstrong throughout the duration of the month they spent together.
Any chance of forming a bond stalled, 他们说, after an incident involving Armstrong during a group dinner one night early into the trip.
“We were all together a group of us, maybe seven of us, and we had been to dinner and gone back to one of the guys on the group’s house that he had rented.
“She had some sort of minor panic attack because she was having a small allergic reaction to some of the food … she really overreacted.”
After a small rash appeared on her chest, the typically quiet Armstrong began hyperventilating and shaking in what the source deemed to be a bout of unnecessary hysteria.
“[它] seemed like a bit of an overreaction to what was happening,” 他们说.
“She was quite anxious … just kind of shaking and breathing heavily.
“It was just unnecessary to react like that … everyone knew what was happening.
“它是, 你懂, a whole scene.”
Armstrong eventually calmed down “slowly” after being given an antihistamine and spoken to by the group in calm, soothing tones.
Considering themselves a “drama-free person”, the source spent the remainder of the trip keeping Armstrong at arm’s length.
“After that night she overreacted … I never really clicked with her that well compared to other people on the course.
“I never really went into deep conversations with her, I found it hard to … it was just because of the whole vibe I got from that night.”
‘PAIN AND SUFFERING’
After finishing up in Bali, Armstrong headed back to the US to resume her work as a realtor in Austin, 德克萨斯州.
Aside from seeing a few updates from time to time on Armstrong’s Instagram, the source wouldn’t hear of her again for another four years when she was announced as a suspect in the murder of Moriah “Mo” 威尔逊.
Armstrong was questioned by police the day after the fatal shooting and later sold her car before fleeing to New York on May 14 – three days before a warrant was issued for her arrest.
She then went on the run for 43 天, boarding a United Airlines flight to San Jose, Costa Rica, using a “fraudulent passport” where she underwent plastic surgery to alter her appearance and hid out at a $50 per-night surfing and yoga hostel in Santa Teresa.
The US Sun’s source said they were stunned to learn that the meek but sweet aspiring yoga instructor they’d met four years earlier was now a full-fledged fugitive on the run for murder.
“It was a bit of a ‘Woah’ 片刻 … just shock and confusion,” 他们说, adding they had been alerted to Armstrong’s fugitive status by another attendee of the Bali retreat.
“Everyone is essentially capable of killing someone … but I wasn’t thinking, you see someone at a yoga class and they’re a killer just because they’ve got a pain inside of them or a bit of sadness in their eyes … it didn’t cross my mind [that she’d ever allegedly do such a thing].
“You must be in a lot of pain and a lot of suffering … there must be something wrong inside of you to potentially do something like that and plan it as well.”
Armstrong’s classmate from Bali said she is now completely unrecognizable from the person they had met four years ago – in more ways than one.
“I see it as a tragedy for everyone involved,” 他们说.
“[Kaitlin] must have gone through some internal battles that we have no idea about, and accumulated along with a moment of madness, and jealousy, and rage and whatever [else].”
The source provided The US Sun with never-before-seen photos of Kaitlin during their four-week course.
Looking back on the images of her now is “heartbreaking”, 消息人士说.
“It is heartbreaking that someone is now in this position. Do I feel sorry for her? 是的, 我愿意.
“But at the same time, she shouldn’t have done what she did.
“It’s very s**ty what she did, taking someone’s life and now she has to deal with the consequences.”
Armstrong is currently in the Travis County Jail, where she is being held on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree theft of service.
Her bail has been set at $3.5million.