Man Killed Wife in National Park During Argument Over Covid-19 Stimulus Check

Dylan J. Hanger, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in May in the death of 29-year-old Brittany Gorman

Brittany Gorman
Photo: Facebook

A Missouri man was sentenced Tuesday to 21 years in federal prison for the murder of his estranged wife, who he killed during an argument over stimulus money in a national park.

Dylan J. Hanger, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in May in the death of 29-year-old Brittany Gorman.

Hanger began planning to kill Gorman in the months prior to her May 20, 2020, killing, telling a friend "he had it down to a day and time," according to a federal sentencing memorandum obtained by PEOPLE.

"In March 2020, he explored buying a firearm, but did not want to type into Facebook why he wanted it," according to the memorandum. "At some point, he removed the knife he later used to kill his wife from his home."

Authorities said the day of the killing Hanger met up with Gorman, the mother of his three children, at a convenience store in Mountain View where "he said he put gas in her truck and gave her a $2,000 check for her part of their stimulus money – a check he knew would bounce – if he gave her that check at all."

Dylan J. Hanger
Dylan J. Hanger. Texas County Jail

Authorities said they met again later that day at the Buck Hollow access point at the Jacks Fork River where he stabbed her multiple times and then dumped her remains near a remote trailhead in the Mark Twain National Forest.

After the murder, Hanger allegedly asked friends to help him secure an alibi and told family and friends that his ex-wife may have disappeared because of her "drug connections."

"When the defendant finally admitted what he had done and revealed the location of Gorman's body on May 30, 2020, Gorman's body, when recovered by law enforcement, was no [longer] intact," authorities said.

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In an online obituary, Gorman was described as a "stay-at-home mom who truly enjoyed raising her three children: Annemarie, Mary and Thomas; they meant the world to her."

"She was full of life with an outgoing personality," it continued. "She enjoyed listening to music, drawing, coloring, and doing her makeup. Brittany cherished the time spent with her family and looked forward to family outings. Her most memorable moments were boating and tubing on the lake."

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