5 Arrested in Killing of 19-Year-Old Mentally Disabled Alaska Woman: Reports

June 10, 2019 Updated: June 10, 2019

Five people were arrested in the slaying of a mentally disabled Alaska woman, who officials said was tied up, shot, and tossed into a river after being invited on a hike.

Denali Brehmer, 18, is accused of murdering 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman on June 2. She allegedly got help from 19-year-old Caleb Leyland, 16-year-old Kayden McIntosh, and two unnamed teens, KTUU reported.

“I know I did something wrong and I know I could have probably done something different if I was able to and I don’t want my daughter knowing that her mom grew up a killer because I don’t see myself as one,” Brehmer said on June 9 at her arraignment for the crime.

Officials claim that she and four others plotted to kill Hoffman, saying they invited her for a hike at the Thunderbird Falls trail near Anchorage.

That’s when Hoffman, who is said to have had the mental capacity of a seventh-grader, was gunned down and dumped, said police.

Later, Leyland admitted to his role in the case, allowing Brehmer and McIntosh to take his Chevy Trailblazer to kidnap and murder Hoffman, according to the report.

The Alaska Star reported that an unnamed juvenile male also admitted to helping plot the killing

The unnamed juveniles were taken to the McLaughlin Youth Center, and they will face charges, police told the Star.

Police have not provided a motive in the shooting.

Hoffman’s family spoke out about the matter, reported the Daily Mail. “All I know is that my daughter didn’t deserve all this,” said her father, Timothy.

“She should have had the friends that she wanted. She shouldn’t have had people that wanted to plot against her. And the ages of these people? I think it is sick. And now they don’t have to live the nightmare that I have to live,” he was quoted as saying by the Mail.

He said that Hoffman and Brehmer met in high school, saying that Brehmer was her “best friend.”

“Her disability just made her want to have friends,” he added. “That’s all she wanted, was just to be her friend.”

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