3 more arrested in killing of 19-year-old woman near Thunderbird Falls trail

Sunday, June 9, 2019 - 14:14
  • The Ekltuna River near where the body of Cynthia Hoffman was found on June 4, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • A teddy bear and flowers in memory of Cynthia Hoffman sit on the Eklutna River bridge on Saturday, June 8, 2019. Hoffman’s body was found in the river June 4, and two teens have been arrested and charged with murder in her death. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • The embankment behind the restrooms at the Thunderbird Falls trailhead. According to police, 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman was killed in the woods and pushed into the nearby Eklutna River. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Police say Cynthia Hoffman, 19, was killed June 2 near the Eklutna River. (Hoffman family photo)

Police have arrested three more people in connection with the death of a 19-year-old woman found dead alongside the Eklutna River last week.

According to an Anchorage Police Department Nixle alert, Caleb Leyland, 19, and two juveniles — a male and female — were taken into custody for allegedly helping Denali Brehmer, 18, and Kayden McIntosh, 16, plan the killing of Cynthia Hoffman. Five people have now been arrested in the case, including three juveniles and two adults.

McIntosh was arrested June 4 and Brehmer was arrested June 7 after originally being questioned and released by police.

In the release, police said Leyland supplied the vehicle used by Brehmer and McIntosh on June 2, the day Hoffman was allegedly killed. Leyland was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy to committ murder. Police said their investigation found Leyland also sexually assaulted the juvenile female taken into custody and additionally charged him with first-degree sexual assault and second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

According to charging documents in the case, Leyland allegedly told police he helped plan the killing and lent Brehmer his Chevy Trail Blazer to commit the crime. The juvenile male also allegedly admitted he helped plan the killing and said all five people discussed kidnapping and murdering Hoffman before she was killed.

Both juveniles were taken to McLaughlin Youth Center with charges pending with the Department of Juvenile Justice, police said.

Brehmer was scheduled to be arraigned Sunday; it was unclear when Leyland or the two juveniles would be arraigned.

In charging documents filed against Brehmer and McIntosh, police say both admitted to binding Hoffman with duct tape before McIntosh shot her in the back of the head with a 9 mm handgun provided by Brehmer. The two then allegedly drove to Mountain View, where they burned Hoffman’s belongings and the gun.

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