19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound outside Anchorage on June 4. Hoffman had been shot in the back of the head and her hands and feet were bound. Authorities believe the murder was carried out by 18-year-old Denali Brehmer and 4 other teenagers after a man using the name Tyler promised millions for evidence of a rape and murder that the teens had carried out.
The family told the Anchorage Daily News that Hoffman was developmentally disabled. Brehmer texted Hoffman's father after the murder to say "I hope she comes home safely she’s my best friend,” according to KTUU.
16-year-old Kayden McIntosh and 19-year-old Caleb Leyland have also been linked to the crime, with two more minors whose names have not been released allegedly involved in Hoffman's abduction and murder. Authorities believe the teens abducted Hoffman, lured her to a hiking trail, murdered her and then left her body in a nearby river. The texts showed that Tyler pushed Brehmer to sexually assault Hoffman, but they found no evidence that this was done. "Tyler" was found to be a 21-year-old Indiana man named Darin Schilmiller. Brehmer revealed Schilmiller's scheme after he backed out of their deal and threatened to report her to the police, according to texts allegedly sent between the two.
Brehmer, McIntosh, and Schilmiller have been indicted on murder and conspiracy charges and could face 99 years for each charge. Schilmiller is being extradited to Alaska to face charges.