Teenagers murdered friend after man on internet offered them millions to film killing for him, police say

Chiara Giordano
Teenagers murdered friend after man on internet offered them millions to film killing for him, police say

A teenager masterminded the murder of her best friend after a stranger she met online promised her £7m to carry out the act, police say.

Denali Brehmer, 18, allegedly began plotting the murder of 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman after meeting Darin Schilmiller on a chat site.

Mr Schilmiller, 21, is said to have posed as a millionaire called Tyler and offered the mother-of-one, from Anchorage in Alaska, millions of dollars to send him pictures and videos of the killing.

The teenager allegedly recruited Kayden McIntosh, 16, Caleb Leyland, 19, and two unnamed juveniles - a boy and a girl - to help her carry out the killing in exchange for a cut of the money.

She then lured Ms Hoffman, who was said to have had a developmental disability, to her death under the guise that they were going for a hike on 2 June, according to the Alaska Department of Law.

Ms Brehmer and Mr McIntosh are said to have driven Ms Hoffman to Thunderbird Falls near the Eklutna River in Mr Leyland’s car.

She was then bound with duct tape before Mr McIntosh allegedly shot her in the back of the head and pushed into the river.

Police found Ms Hoffman’s body two days later in a creek near Thunderbird Falls.

On Friday, all six suspects were charged with first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder.

Mr Schilmiller, from Indiana, is awaiting extradition to Alaska, where he will join the other five defendants in custody.

A search of Ms Brehmer’s phone also allegedly revealed evidence that she produced child pornography videos and sent them to Mr Schilmiller at his request.

Court documents show they have both been charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography, production of child pornography, receipt and distribution of child pornography, and coercion and enticement of a minor.

Mr Leyland is also accused of sexually assaulting the juvenile female suspect and faces additional charges of sexual assault and sexual abuse of a minor, according to Anchorage Police Department.