An Alaskan teenager is accused of murdering her friend after a man she met online offered her $9 million to record the murder on video, CNN reports.
Denali Brehmer, 18, is accused, along with several accomplices, of binding her friend, Cynthia Hoffman, with duct tape and then shooting her in the back of the head, before allegedly dumping her body into a river. Two other men, Kayden McIntosh, 16, and Caleb Leyland, 19, as well as two unnamed juveniles are also implicated for their roles in this crime. 21-year-old Darin Schilmiller, of Indiana, is accused of posing as a multimillionaire who offered to pay Brehmer and her accomplices to murder Hoffman.
It’s unclear when or how Brehmer first made contact with Schilmiller. However, “several weeks” before Hoffman’s murder, according to court documents, Schilmiller and Brehmer began discussing “a plan to rape and murder someone in Alaska.” Schilmiller allegedly promised to pay Brehmer and her accomplices $9 million if they provided photos and videos of the crime.
On June 3, according to Anchorage’s KTVA, Hoffman’s father Timothy reported his daughter missing. Though she was 19, Timothy said she had a learning disability and “the mindset of a 12-year-old.” That same day, Brehmer’s own mother contacted police, saying she believed that Hoffman had been shot and her body thrown into a river, though she didn’t name names or provide any further details, such as a location.
Alaska teen Denali Brehmer is accused of ???? killing her best friend after a man she met online told her he'd pay $9,000,000 for videos of the murder. The 18-year-old from Anchorage,... https://t.co/9JSZV67dC8— To Shed Light (@ToShedLight) June 18, 2019
The next day, Hoffman’s body was found in a river, about 25 miles away from Anchorage. Authorities quickly pieced together a timeline of the events that led to her death and arrested five suspects.
Police say that the group lured the victim with promises of going to a park. At some point, “an altercation ensued,” according to a police report. The group allegedly bound the victim in duct tape, shot her in the back of the head, and threw her body into a river. They then allegedly burned her belongings and cooked up a story to misdirect her family and the police.
A week later, police stumbled onto a new wrinkle in the case: Darin Schilmiller. He had allegedly been in contact with Brehmer and her friends. In addition to allegedly promising Brehmer and her associates millions for the video of a murder, he also allegedly tried to convince Brehmer to produce child pornography with a 15-year-old and an 8- or 9-year-old.
All six suspects have been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of second-degree murder. Brehmer and Schilmiller are also separately charged with conspiracy to commit murder.