Indiana man indicted for twisted execution in Alaska

Local News

ALASKA (CNN) – He promised to pay millions for a murder.

Now an Indiana man finds himself facing charges in a crime that happened across the country in Alaska.

Court records tell a story you’d expect to find in a movie or crime novel.

An Indiana man accused of catfishing a woman in Alaska – now, indicted by a grand jury for murder after convincing an 18-year-old woman he’d pay millions for her to murder someone and send him photos.

21-year-old Darin Schilmiller has been arrested on these and other charges.

Schilmiller is from new Salisbury, a small town in Harrison County.

He attended North Harrison High School in Ramsey, graduating in 2017.

Just two years later, the Alaska Department of Law says Schilmiller convinced 18-year-old Denali Brehmer, the woman he was having a relationship with online, to commit a murder.

Court records say she then enlisted four friends – 19-year-old Caleb Leyland, 16-year-old Kayden Mcintosh, and two juveniles, telling them they would ‘receive substantial shares of money for their part of the planning and execution of the murder’.

Cynthia Hoffman, Brehmer’s best friend, was selected to be the murder victim.

Court records say June 2, they carried out the plan, taking Hoffman on a hike, binding her hands, feet and head with duct tape before shooting her in the back of the head and putting her body in a river.

Court records say Brehmer was talking with Schilmiller the entire time, “sending him snapchat photographs and videos of Hoffman tied up and of the body afterward”.

Court records say Schilmiller told investigators he and Brehmer talked about murdering someone else after Hoffman and that he blackmailed Brehmer into raping people.

Schilmiller was originally arrested and charged with production and receipt of child pornography, when investigators found child porn on Brehmer’s phone that she’d sent to him.

On Friday, a grand jury indicted Schilmiller and five others in Hoffman’s murder.

He’s now awaiting extradition to Alaska.

If convicted, Schilmiller could face 99 years in prison for first degree murder.

He and the other defendants are set to appear in court on Tuesday.

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(This story was originally published on June 18, 2019)

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