Austin has been in the national spotlight for more than extreme growth—the last two years have brought a handful of violent crimes, missing persons cases and shootings.
Some of the most heartbreaking cases have yet to be solved. Here's a small update on some ongoing, high-profile cases in Austin.
Moriah Wilson | Suspect still on the run
Star biker Moriah Wilson was found dead in her East Austin home.
Professional cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson’s alleged killer, Kaitlin Armstrong, is still on the run and was last spotted leaving LaGuardia Airport in New York City on May 14—three days before the Austin Police Department obtained a warrant for her arrest.
Wilson was shot to death in her home on May 11 just hours after she went swimming with fellow cyclist Colin Strickland, who Armstrong had previously dated. Strickland said it was never a secret that he dated 25-year-old Wilson and had “no indication” Armstrong would react violently, as she had been dating other people as well.
While Wilson’s family said they don’t believe she was romantically involved with anyone, the case is being investigated as a crime of passion.
Investigators believe Armstrong might be using her sister’s name, Christine Armstrong, in New York State. A $5,000 reward has been issued for information leading to her capture.
Timothy Perez | Missing since March 2022(Robert Perez) Conroe couple Robert and Sandra Perez haven’t seen their son, 32-year-old Timothy Perez, since he left to go visit his brother in Austin on March 5. The couple said he got lost and called Robert for help at 1 a.m. before the call disconnected.
"He said, 'Dad, come get me, I'm lost,'" Robert Perez told Austonia. "I said, 'Pull, over,' but he just hung up, and we were never able to get a hold of him."The Austin Police Department found Timothy’s car—cold and with an empty tank—around 15 miles from his brother’s home at 4:30 a.m. the same morning
Timothy was last spotted again that morning when Round Rock Police responded to a welfare check called in by St. William Catholic Church. RRPD photographed him, said Timothy refused to identify himself and left without incident; Timothy wasn’t reported missing until a few days later.
According to EquuSearch, Timothy’s phone pinged briefly in Conroe on March 16 but hasn’t been located since. RRPD officials said they believe Timothy is voluntarily missing based on his interaction with officers.
But his parents think Timothy might've suffered a nervous breakdown and still drive from Conroe to Austin every few days to look for their son.Due to the sighting at the church, APD closed its missing person case on April 8 but Round Rock Police still lists Timothy as missing.
Timothy is a 6'2, 180 lb. Hispanic man with shoulder-length black hair, a full beard, and brown eyes. Anyone with information on Timothy Perez's disappearance can call the family's private investigator at 512-844-7933.
Jason Landry | Missing since December 2020
More than 31,000 acres were combed through to find missing Texas State student Jason Landry. (Caldwell County Sheriff's Office)
Texas State University student Jason Landry went missing on Dec. 13, 2020, after his car was found abandoned in Luling as he was driving home from nearby San Marcos to Missouri City, Texas, for winter break.
Landry’s car was found crashed with keys still in the ignition and all of his personal possessions, including his clothing, some with drops of blood, and phone, but no one in sight.
As conspiracies have swirled around the internet about what might've happened that night, Capt. Jeff Ferry, who is the lead investigator on the case, said "no doubt this is a tragedy… but it’s not a crime.”
More than a year later, friends and family of Landry are still searching for him and have erected billboards reminding locals of his disappearance and offering a $10,000 reward: one going southbound on I-35 and another along U.S. Hwy. 183 north of Luling.
The billboards were leased for 13 weeks in April but they may extend the rental—meanwhile, the case is in the hands of the Texas Attorney General Cold Case and Missing Persons unit. Anyone with information is asked to call (512) 936-0742.
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Elon Musk is developing plans for a new private airport, multiple sources tell Austonia. While the timetable and exact location are unknown, the conceptual plans have been confirmed by sources who say the airport would be east of Austin, near Bastrop.
Besides being available for private jet travel for himself and his executives, the potential new airfield could service Musk's companies, many of which have a local presence: Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company in particular. Musk and his companies own thousands of acres in Central Texas, mostly along the Colorado River corridor.
The key piece of land for Musk is Giga Texas in southeast Travis County. Covering 2,500 acres, Tesla made the site its headquarters in December.
The Boring Company, which first came to Pflugerville in December 2020, also joined Tesla in an HQ move to the Austin area and this spring saw the region's largest ever venture investment. Its address on Impact Way sits three miles from Austin Executive Airport, a controlled airfield that serves as a general aviation alternative to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Last year, Gapped Bass LLC, an entity tied to top executives at Boring, purchased 73 acres in Northwest Bastrop. Then in February, representatives for the company sought approval from the Bastrop County Commissioners Court for a permit to build an 80,000-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing facility. Plans for the site are unclear, but job postings indicated it may be used for developing a tunneling technology known as "Prufrock."
It's unclear how much space Musk would use for a private airport. But for scale, Austin Executive Airport has a 6,025-foot runway and over 130,000 sq. ft. of community hangar space.
Currently, Musk's visits to Austin are made on a 2015 Gulfstream G650, though he has placed an order for a new top-of-the-line private jet that has an expected delivery in early 2023. Trips to Central Texas this year have been key for Musk as Tesla ramps up production on its Model Y at Giga Texas.
At the grand opening of the gigafactory, Musk boasted about the site’s proximity to the Austin- Bergstrom International airport, which is about five miles away.
Building a new airport requires federal EPA approval for environmental impacts and FAA approval for air traffic impacts. Local regulations may apply, too. The path to completion could be a long one, especially given Musk's ongoing feud with President Joe Biden.
A former partner with Austin-based Maund Automotive Group has been indicted on murder-for-hire charges, alongside three others, for killing a man and woman in Nashville in March 2020.
Austinites Erik Charles Maund, Gilad Peled, Bryon Brockway and North Carolina native Adam Carey were additionally charged with conspiracy to kidnap resulting in death and kidnapping resulting in death, according to U.S. Attorney for Middle District of Tennessee Mark H. Wildasin.
The case centers around the murder of 33-year-old Holly Williams, who 47-year-old Maund was allegedly seeing. Upon hearing of the relationship, Williams’ estranged boyfriend William Lanway, allegedly messaged Maund, who is married, asking for hush money. Williams and Lanway were found dead inside a car in Nashville about a month later.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Maund is also facing an additional murder-for-hire charge for trying to arrange to have one of his co-conspirators killed after Peled told Maund in prison they were asking for more money.
The DOJ release said Maund agreed to pay the co-conspirator an additional $25,000, $50,000 to Peled and $100,000 to Brockway to end further payment requests. Since March 11, Maund transferred more than $750,000 to a bank account belonging to Peled, which is believed to be the initial payment.
The four were arrested in December 2021 and remain in custody. If convicted, they could face life in prison.