Murder of Hannah Zehner Brim by Nelson Armas profiled on On The Case With Paula Zahn

Mugshot of Nelson Armas
Nelson Armas was sentenced to life for killing girlfriend Hannah Zehner Brim. Pic credit: Florida Dept. of Corrections

On The Case With Paula Zahn is in Gainesville, Florida, to investigate the murder of five-month pregnant Hannah Zehner Brim, who was killed by her boyfriend, Nelson Armas, following an argument.

Armas worked hard to cover-up his tracks, but the police were able to piece together the barbaric acts he did to Hannah and her remains.

On January 19, 2016, 23-year-old Hannah was reported missing by her parents. She had last been seen alive by her friend in the company of boyfriend, Armas, which led the police to instantly suspect him of foul play.

Armas admitted to the cops that he had argued with Hannah, but he denied having anything to do with her disappearance. He said that after the argument, he hitched a ride with a truck driver and walked about 13 miles to his home.

What the police believe actually happened is that Armas stabbed his pregnant girlfriend to death before loading the remains into the trunk of her car and driving to a secluded wooded area near Orange Heights, FL. He then dismembered her body and set it on fire.

Investigators say he drove the car to his mother’s property where he disposed of the murder weapon, cleaned up the car, and burned Hannah’s bloody clothes.

Surveillance footage spotted Nelson Armas

It’s thought that on hearing Hannah had been reported missing, Armas decided to get rid of the car, which led to a key piece of evidence in tying him to the murder. He was spotted on surveillance footage leaving Hannah’s car in a Walmart parking lot during the night after she was reported missing.

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Hannah’s skeletized remains were found months after her death; DNA was taken from family members to determine that it was Hannah Brim.

The police got a further break in the case against her boyfriend when a prisoner told investigators that fellow inmate Armas had admitted to killing and burning Hannah’s corpse before dumping her in a river.

In August 2019, Nelson Armas was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. He was also giving a further 5 years for tampering with Hannah’s remains and another 5 for stealing her car.

More from On The Case With Paula Zahn

Follow the links to read about more murder examined by investigative journalist Paula Zahn.

Last week Paula Zahn examined the bizarre case of Roger Carroll who used a teenage runaway to lure their stepmother, Bonnie Woodward to his rural home where he shot her dead. Carroll then forced his son to help him dispose of the body.

Molly Bish was just 16 years old when she vanished from her job as a lifeguard in Warren, Massachusetts. Her dead body was located a few miles away, and her murder remains unsolved.

On The Case With Paula Zahn airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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1 year ago

How could the cops have possibly taken dna from her family, when she was adopted at 2 months old??

1 year ago
Reply to  Lisa

Perhaps they had items of Hannah’s they could get the DNA from.

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