Who is Teal Akerson? Man claims KILLER Kaitlin Armstrong disguised as ‘Ari’ to date him while hiding
Kaitlin Armstrong, 34, during her hiding in Costa Rica from Police over her love rival's murder, posed as a woman named Ari to woo a man she met at a tattoo shop in Costa Rica. Armstrong told Teal Akerson, the man she dated under disguise, that she'd been through a ''traumatizing break up'' after they met in Costa Rica in June. She told him she hadn't ''healed'' from a recent breakup and ''wasn't ready' to get closer to him, according to Akerson.
Akerson also revealed that the couple had been on several dates during Armstrong's escape before her capture on June 29. He was taken aback when he saw old photos of Armstrong after she was arrested after she allegedly underwent plastic surgery to alter her appearance, DailyMail reported. Zachary Paulsen, who was a witness to the arrest had discovered Armstrong's $6,350 receipt for cosmetic surgery but under another name. Akerson said he now realized Armstrong's ''insistence'' on hanging out in secluded areas ''made sense.''
Armstrong was arrested at a hostel called Don Jon’s Surf and Yoga Lodge, located in the small town of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica on June 29 and was returned to the US on July 2. Armstrong was charged with the first-degree murder of professional cyclist Moriah Wilson in a jealous rage last month on May 11 in Austin, Texas, over an alleged affair between Wilson and Armstrong’s boyfriend Colin Strickland, who is also a cyclist.
Akerson told the Austin American Statesman that he was aware of the case, but that the change in her appearance meant he "didn't put any of it together." He first spoke to her outside of a tattoo shop, saving her as ''Ari Tattoo,'' before the pair smoked cannabis and spent time together, speaking up until three days before she was arrested. Akerson said, ‘'Ari was a strange person. I met her outside the tattoo shop, her friends were getting tattoos and she was waiting out there on the bench and I was having a beer in the lounge."
'‘It became apparent to me that she was trying to have a conversation, trying to get to know me so I began talking to her more and more we ended up sharing numbers," he said. "We went on a bunch of dates but she said that she had been through a real traumatizing breakup, and she hadn’t healed from it yet and wasn’t ready to get close at all so we were just being friends," Akerson added.
He further said, "We wanted to go out to different place we went to a bunch of different spots but most of the time she wanted to be at a secluded spot not a lot of people. I didn’t put any of it together, you wouldn’t t imagine it. After it all happened, and I heard what she was really doing and running from it made sense why she didn’t want to be seen." '‘Why she wanted to go to secluded places and it all kind of made a little more sense.''
He also stated that Armstrong was wearing a bandage on her nose, which she claimed was from a surfing accident, and that he did not recognize the photos released by police. Akerson admitted that he only recognized 'Ari' as Armstrong after seeing her post-surgery photos. After her arrest, Armstrong admitted to going by the name 'Ari', and she was deported to Houston. She was taken to the Travis County Jail on July 5 and remains in the prison pending a $3.5 million bail. Other Costa Rican locals said that Armstrong had ‘seemed normal’, and spent most of her time working part-time at the front desk of the hostel where she stayed and teaching yoga.
According to the authorities, Armstrong was financing her new life in Costa Rica with $12,200 she got from selling her SUV before she fled the United States on May 14. She had been staying in expensive hostel-type accommodation, as reported by Inside Edition. Brandon Filla, Deputy US Marshal, said during a press conference that Armstrong had been trying to establish a yoga career in Costa Rica and her attendance at yoga classes with a fake name helped the authorities to track her.
Wilson had died of multiple gunshot wounds. Investigators concluded she had been struck several times with a 9mm round - the same caliber of gun Strickland had reportedly purchased for himself and Armstrong. On May 19, Armstrong was charged with first-degree murder, per an affidavit.