21-year-old Indiana man charged with child porn in connection with Hoffman murder case

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 11:03
  • A memorial for Cynthia Hoffman sits on the bridge above the Eklutna River on June 11, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

A 21-year-old Indiana man is facing federal child pornogrpahy charges related to the death of Cynthia Hoffman, a 19-year-old woman who was found dead in the Eklutna River last week.

According to a federal indictment that was unsealed Tuesday, Darin Schilmiller allegedly directed murder suspect Denali Brehmer, 18, to sexually abuse an 8- or 9-year-old victim and a 15-year-old victim. The indictment contains graphic text messages between Brehmer and Schilmiller, who repeately tells Brehmer to abuse and photograph the children before sending him the pictures.

In text messages allegedly sent from Schilmiller to Brehmer, the 21-year-old man also references the killing of Hoffman, who was known to her friends as CeeCee.

“I wish I never made a deal with you in the first place…” Schilmiller allegedly wrote while posing as a many named “Tyler.” “We can meet but once I see a cop I’m telling him or her that I made you rape people and killed cece.”

Brehmer is charged with helping to kill Hoffman on June 2 with the help of 16-year-old Kayden McIntosh and three other co-conspirators, including 19-year-old Caleb Leyland and two unnamed juveniles.

According to police, Brehmer and McIntosh told them they took Hoffman into the woods near the Thunderbird Falls trailhead in Chugiak on June 2, where they bound her with duct tape. According to statements both allegedly gave police, Hoffman initially agreed to be bound, but later panicked and told the duo she was going to call police. At that point, McIntosh allegedly took a 9 mm handgun from Brehmer and shot Hoffman in the back of the head before pushing her into the river. The two then allegedly drove to Mountain View, where they burned Hoffman’s belongings and sent misleading text messages to her family.

Six people have now been charged as a result of the investigation into Hoffman’s death, including three adults and three juveniles.

Hoffman’s body was found in the river June 4 after police contacted Brehmer and McIntosh after getting a tip from one of Brehmer’s family members that she might have been involved. Police have said they believe Leyland loaned Brehmer and McIntosh the vehicle they used to kidnap Hoffman and bring her to the river where she was found dead. Leyland has also been charged separately with sexual abuse of a minor and sexual assault for allegedly assaulting the female juvenile who was taken into custody. Police have not said how they believe the other juveniles who were arrested are invovled in the case.

On Tuesday, the Anchorage Police Department issused a statement saying Schilmiller is a person of interest in the homicide investigation.

Read more here at the Anchorage Daily News.

This is a developing story; check back for details.

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