‘Catfished’ woman sentenced to 99 years for killing ‘best friend’ on being offered USD 9 million

Advertisement

An Alaska woman has been sentenced to 99 years of imprisonment as she admitted to killing her best friend after being “catfished” by someone offering to pay USD 9 million for images of the crime, as reported by the New York Post. Denali Brehmer, 23, pleaded guilty in February 2023 to first-degree murder – admitting that she had killed 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman on June 2, 2019.

The Alaska Department of Law issued a release, stating, that the Anchorage woman was sentenced on Monday to 99 years in prison for the murder-for-hire scheme. Brehmer was 18 when she and two other teens were catfished online by 21-year-old Darin Schilmiller, who pretended to be a millionaire named “Tyler” and persuaded them to sexually assault and kill Hoffman, New York Post reported.

Schilmiller offered USD 9 million for the “rape and murder of someone in Alaska” and asked the teens to send him photos and videos as they committed the crime. Reportedly, Brehmer and her alleged accomplices lured Hoffman to Thunderbird Falls in Chugiak, an unincorporated community in Anchorage, under the guise of a friendly hike. Hoffman — who considered Brehmer as her “best friend” was duct-taped and shot in the back of the head with a 9mm pistol, according to New York Post.

Advertisement

Brehmer and her alleged group sent multiple Snapchat videos and images to Schilmiller before pushing Hoffman’s body into the Eklutna River, officials said. They even tried to burn her body before sending her family a text that she had been dropped off elsewhere. Earlier in January, Schilmiller was also sentenced to 99 years in the slammer after he was extradited to Alaska and pleaded guilty to soliciting a murder to fulfil his sick fetishes, as reported by New York Post.

Kayden McIntosh, who was 16 at the time, was charged with murder for allegedly shooting Hoffman in the head after he was duct-taped. However, his trial is pending. Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Patrick McKay said, “The court should find that Miss Brehmer engaged in one of the most serious crimes that we have in Alaska,” the Alaska Daily News reported.

“She executed Cynthia Hoffman in a murder-for-hire plot. She conspired with numerous other individuals in and outside of Alaska, including juveniles, forever altering everybody’s life,” he said. “She may not have pulled the trigger, but this never would have happened it if it weren’t for Denali Brehmer,” McKay added.

Moreover, another person who was involved in the case, Caleb Leyland, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November. Meanwhile, he is scheduled for sentencing on June 10 this year, according to New York Post.