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‘Fruitful’ Evidence Discovered in Hannah Brim Disappearance

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Investigators said today they’ve discovered new evidence in the disappearance of Hannah Brim, a 23-year-old Gainesville woman who has been missing since Jan. 19.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Brandon Kutner would not disclose the details of the evidence other than to describe the discovery as “fruitful” to the investigation.

Officials announced Thursday they no longer think Brim is alive.

Police have said Brim was last seen in a car with Nelson Armas, a 28-year-old Gainesville man, and investigators have no evidence she ever exited the vehicle. Armas had been cooperating with investigators and denied knowledge of her whereabouts, according to police.

An additional search warrant was served on Armas’ home this morning, Kutner said in a separate media release.

Armas has a history of domestic battery arrests, and he was briefly held Thursday in the Alachua County Jail on a domestic battery charge unrelated to Brim, Kutner said. Armas was taken back to jail today on unrelated charges of violating his probation.

Evidence gathered at a previous search of Armas’ home on Feb. 8 led investigators to start their search in the Orange Heights area.

More than 150 law enforcement agents have been searching Orange Heights for any signs or information related to her whereabouts, Kutner said. K-9 units, including cadaver dogs, have also been involved in the search.

Brim was first reported missing by her family Jan. 23, and the Gainesville Police Department contacted the sheriff’s office after the investigation indicated a crime scene could be outside of city limits.

Because of the conditions in the area being searched, authorities are using horses and off-road vehicles.

Investigators are asking anyone in the Orange Heights area with possible information to contact the sheriff’s office at 352-955-1818.

About Graham Hall

Graham is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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