Months before officials said a man stabbed his ex-wife to death in a Missouri national park, he began making plans to kill her, according to federal authorities.
Now, 31-year-old Dylan J. Hanger of Mountain View, Missouri, has been sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, the documents show.
Hanger’s defense attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.
Authorities said Hanger first told a friend in January 2020 that he planned to kill his wife, with whom he shared three children.
“In March 2020, he explored the idea of buying a firearm, but didn’t want to type on Facebook why he wanted to,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum. “In early May, she proved an alibi. At one point, he removed the knife from his home which he then used to kill his wife.”
Then, on May 20, 2020, authorities said Hanger met his ex-wife, Brittany Gorman, at a convenience store.
“He said he put gas in her truck and gave her a check for $2,000 for her share of their stimulus money — a check he knew would bounce — if he gave her that check,” according to court documents .
Later that day, he met Gorman at Buck Hollow, a river access point in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, according to his plea deal.
While in the national park, the estranged couple “discussed their children and their federal stimulus control,” McClatchy News reported in May.
Hanger then stabbed his wife at least four times, killing her, authorities said.
After Gorman was killed, authorities said Hanger dumped his body at a remote location and secured his alibi with a friend, according to court documents.
“For nine days, (he) argued with both Gorman’s family and law enforcement that Gorman was missing and suggested it was due to her drug connections,” authorities said. “When the defendant finally admitted what he had done and revealed the location of Gorman’s body on May 30, 2020, Gorman’s body, once recovered by law enforcement, was (no longer) intact.”
Gorman is remembered “as a loving mother, daughter, sister and friend,” according to her online obituary. She loved raising her three children, boating on the lake, and spending time with her family.
The children Hanger and Gorman shared are now 10, 7 and 5 years old, according to the ruling memorandum.
“For the rest of their lives, they will have to live without their mother and face the fact that their father killed their mother,” prosecutors said. “There are no good answers to the questions they will ask. There are no answers.
Hanger is not eligible for parole, authorities said.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways is approximately 140 miles east of Springfield. The national park is about 35 miles northeast of Hanger’s home in Mountain View.
If you are experiencing domestic violence and need someone to talk to, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for assistance at 1-800-799-7233 or text “START” to 88788.
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