A young woman from Alaska has admitted to the heinous murder of her close friend who had intellectual disabilities.
Reports suggest that the woman was promised $9 million by an individual who deceived her online and demanded pictures of the gruesome act.
The incident has been linked to a disturbing plan involving several teenagers, which was orchestrated by a person who went by the name of “Tyler” on the internet.
The accused, Denali Brehmer, has pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Cynthia Hoffman, and the case is now being heard at an Anchorage courthouse.
Four years ago, on June 2, 2019, Hoffman went missing on the Thunderbird Falls hiking trail. On the same day, police spoke to then-18-year-old Brehmer, who gave a chilling account of Hoffman’s murder hours before.
According to Daily Mail, Brehmer told authorities that she and then-16-year-old Kayden McIntosh borrowed a friend’s car, picked up Hoffman, and headed to the hiking trail.
The teenager told police that the friends planned to take photos of each other bound in duct tape — and proceeded to wrap Hoffman’s feet, hands, and mouth. Brehmer claimed that at some point, McIntosh allegedly took a gun and fired a fatal shot in the back of Hoffman’s head.
The teenagers then pushed their friend’s body into a river before driving to a park, where they called Hoffman’s family to tell them they had dropped her off there.
Police discovered the charred remains of Hoffman’s purse and personal items, as well as the murder weapon, at the park.
An alleged motive — and additional accomplices — were also revealed.
Prosecutors claimed that Hoffman’s murder was the result of a catfish scheme by a “millionaire” named “Tyler” who Brehmer was communicating with online.
Police revealed the man’s identity as Darin Schilmiller, then-21 years old. Schilmiller was accused of offering $9 million in exchange for killing.
Arrests were made for Brehmer, McIntosh, and a third teenager, Caleb Leyland, 19, who allegedly admitted to conspiring with the teenagers for a cut of the blood money.
Leyland told authorities that he lent his car to the teenagers to pick up Hoffman, whose mother said had the intellectual capability of a seventh grader.
At the time of her murder, Hoffman’s grieving mom shared that her daughter met Brehmer while they were students at Service High School and that Hoffman considered Brehmer her “best friend.”
Hoffman’s father believed her intellectual disability left her vulnerable to the evil plan.
“She should have had the friends that she wanted. She shouldn’t have had people that wanted to plot against her,” he said at the time. “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.”
Schilmiller was arrested in August 2019 on first-degree murder and conspiracy charges. McIntosh and Leyland were also charged with one count of murder.
That’s not being tricked…It’s killing for hire, assassination plain and simple whether or not they actually received payment.