A group of friends allegedly killed 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman in Alaska on June 2 because a man who claimed he was a millionaire offered them $9 million for video of the crime.
Authorities found Hoffman’s dead body a day after she was reported missing in Anchorage along the river bank near Thunderbird Falls trail on June 4, reported WDIV ClickOnDetroit.
According to the indictment quoted by ABC News, Denali Brehmer, 18 allegedly plotted the murder of her best friend, Hoffman after a 21-year-old Indiana man, Darin Schilmiller, pretending to be a millionaire named Tyler from Kansas, offered her $9 million to “rape and murder someone in Alaska” and provide him “videos and photographs of the murder.”
Court documents allege the 18-year-old recruited four friends to help plan and execute the killing of Cynthia “CeeCee” Hoffman, who family members say had a developmental disability and had previously described as her “best friend.” https://t.co/gT5E5YixQo
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) June 19, 2019
Police said Hoffman was shot in the back of her head and thrown into the river by Brehmer’s friend, Kayden Mclntosh, 16. The teens fled the spot with the victim’s belongings after committing the crime.
“They sent texts to the victim’s family members via her phone. They stated the victim was dropped off at the park. The family members took that information and used it to file a missing person’s report the next day. The male and female then drove to Lions Park in Mountain View and burned the victim’s belongings,” said the police in a statement via KTVA.
The next day the police contacted Brehmer’s mother who said the teen told her Hoffman might have been shot and pushed into water.
Brehmer was arrested on June 7 after she confessed to telling McIntosh to shoot the victim. In documents, Brehmer is referred to as Hoffman’s best friend, reported ClickOnDetroit.
According to a release by the Alaska Department of Law, a grand jury indicted Brehmer, McIntosh, Schilmiller, 19-year-old Caleb Leyland, and two unidentified juveniles. Leyland was the one who provided a vehicle to carry out the plot.
Schilmiller confessed to pushing Brehmer to commit the murder, and he also mentioned murdering another person but later dropped the idea, said police, according to ABC News.
“[Schilmiller] told police that he knew Hoffman was best friends with Brehmer. He further admitted to telling Brehmer to kill Hoffman and that he and Brehmer had been planning a murder for three weeks,” stated the indictment document.
He also said that after the homicide he attempted to blackmail Brehmer into raping people.
All the suspects admitted to their respective roles in the crime and told investigators that they were planning to split the money among themselves.
The six were charged with first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, and two counts of second-degree murder and other charges.
According to the Alaska Department of Law, if convicted at trial the suspects can face imprisonment for 99 years for each of the murder charges, the conspiracy to commit murder charge, and the solicitation to commit murder charge.
For tampering with the evidence, Brehmer and McIntosh also face an additional five years of imprisonment.
Schilmiller is currently in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a state warrant of $1 million has been issued on his name.
Arising from the investigation into the murder, Schilmiller and Brehmer on Tuesday were also indicted on federal child pornography and child exploitation charges.
A release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office shared by police said child pornography content was found embedded in messages in their phones. Schilmiller and Brehmer were “named in the federal indictment charging them with conspiracy to produce child pornography, production of child pornography, receipt and distribution of child pornography, and coercion and enticement of a minor.”
“For all the good the internet can do, it can be a very dark place, and parents would be wise to monitor the activity of their children online,” said Bryan Schroder, U.S. attorney for the state of Alaska, according to ABC News.