Alaska Teen Accused of Murdering ‘Best Friend’ for Pay-by-Online Stranger

Cynthia Hoffman
Family photo/Cremation Society of AK

Denali Brehmer allegedly planned her friend’s murder after a man posing as a millionaire offered her $9 million for video evidence of the killing.

Authorities say the 18-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska, developed a relationship with 21-year-old Darin Schilmiller of Indiana. Schilmiller was posing as “Tyler,” a supposed millionaire.

Eventually Schilmiller offered Brehmer at least $9 million for “videos and photographs of the murder” of 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman. From that point on, the two began devising “a plan to rape and murder someone in Alaska,” according to court documents.

Brehmer recruited Kayden McIntosh, 16, Caleb Leyland, 19, and two other unnamed “juveniles” to help her. She promised that “all of them would receive a significant sum of money for their part in the planning and/or execution of the murder.”

The Alaska Department of Law said that on June 2, “Hoffman was bound with duct tape, shot in the back of the head, and pushed into a river near a hiking trail outside Anchorage.” Her body was discovered two days later on the bank of the Eklutna River.

Schilmiller also allegedly instructed Brehmer to rape an “8 or 9 year old” and a 15-year-old, with similar request for video evidence. Brehmer admitted that she did so. Video evidence of the 15-year-old’s assault was confirmed by investigators.

On Friday, a grand jury indicted all six defendants on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, and two counts of second-degree murder. McIntosh will be tried as an adult. Schilmiller himself will be extradited to Alaska for arraignment.


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