*Hat Tip: Kevin D.
Five Alaska teens have been charged with murdering one of their best friends — after being catfished by a diabolical white stranger from Indiana who promised them $9 million to film the depraved crime, according to court records.
Darin Schilmiller, 21, posed as a millionaire named “Tyler” in online chats in which he offered 18-year-old Denali Brehmer the huge payday to “rape and murder someone in Alaska” and send him photos and video of it happening, according to the documents posted by the Anchorage Daily News.
Brehmer recruited four friends — including two juveniles too young to be identified — and set their target as Cynthia Hoffman, 19, whom Brehmer had called her “best friend,” the documents say.
Hoffman was lured to Thunderbird Falls in Chugiak on June 2 by Brehmer and Kayden McIntosh, 16, under the guise of a friendly hike.
There they duct-taped her hands, feet and mouth — and McIntosh shot her in the back of the head with a 9mm handgun, according to the court docs.
They sent numerous Snapchat videos and photos to Schilmiller “at his directive throughout the duration of the event,” according to the papers, citing “digital evidence and statements.”
Hoffman’s body was pushed into the Eklutna River and the teens try to burn her body before sending text messages to Hoffman’s family saying she had been dropped off elsewhere, the charge sheets says.
The day after the murder, Schilmiller allegedly blackmailed Brehmer into sexually assaulting young girls — and it was after she was arrested on those allegations that images were found on her phone linking her to Hoffman’s homicide, according to the papers.
The two had even planned a second killing, but the plan was “ultimately abandoned,” Schilmiller told investigators as he admitted his part in the crimes, according to the documents.
Schilmiller was taken into custody in Indiana on federal charges related to the child pornography he received from Brehmer. He is awaiting extradition to Alaska on an arrest warrant.
“The State’s case against Schilmiller, including admissions made by all of his co-defendants, is incredibly strong,” the court papers state, calling him an “ongoing danger to the community.”
In Alaska, he faces numerous charges — including first-degree murder — along with Brehmer, McIntosh, the two unidentified juveniles and Caleb Leyland, 19, who is accused of providing the car that day while helping assist and plan the killing.