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Press Release

Woman Accused of Murder in Texas Charged with Misuse of Passport while Leaving the United States

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – An Austin, Texas, woman was charged today for using a passport belonging to another individual when she flew out of Newark Liberty International Airport, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Kaitlin Armstrong, 34, is charged by complaint with one count of misuse of a passport.  Armstrong will make her initial appearance at a date to be determined.

According to the complaint:

The city of Austin, Texas, obtained an arrest warrant for Armstrong on May 17, 2022, for a murder that allegedly occurred on May 11, 2022, in Austin. The victim died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds. On May 12, 2022, Austin Police Department officers interviewed Armstrong about the death. Armstrong flew from Texas to New York La Guardia Airport in Queens, New York, two days later. 

On May 18, 2022, Armstrong boarded a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Juan Santamaría Airport in Costa Rica after presenting a ticket and United States passport in the name of another individual known to Armstrong, and whom Armstrong represented as herself. On June 29, 2022, law enforcement officers apprehended Armstrong in Costa Rica, where she was in possession of both her own passport and the passport that she presented to officials when she flew from Newark Liberty International Airport.

Misuse of a passport carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. 

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Susan Pamerleau; and special agents of the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, New York Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Keith Byrne. He also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, Homeland Security Investigations, the Austin Police Department, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, for their assistance with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Garrett Schuman of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 7, 2022

Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 22-255