Through a separate criminal investigation, a person of interest has been identified in Cynthia Hoffman’s murder and new information has come to light regarding one of the suspects.

Along with being accused of taking part in planning Hoffman’s kidnapping and murder, 18-year-old Denali Brehmer, aka “Angel,” is also named in a federal criminal complaint accusing a man named Darin Schilmiller of producing and attempting to receive child pornography.

According to the documents, the Anchorage Police Department took possession of Brehmer’s phone to look for evidence related to Hoffman’s murder. During that search, police say they found child pornography in text messages.

The messages were sent during June 2–4 between Brehmer and a contact she had listed as “Babe.” During an interview with police on June 7, Brehmer identified “Babe” as “Tyler,” who she said lived in Kansas. The FBI linked the phone number of “Tyler” to a Facebook account associated with Darin Schilmiller. The phone number, along with driver license records obtained later, led to an address in Indiana.

In her interview, Brehmer said Schilmiller directed her to assault two minors, one that was 8 or 9 years old, and another who was 15.

It was the 15-year-old who was seen and referenced in the text messages found by police.

Below is an excerpt of some of the messages mentioned in the criminal complaint:

c. Tyler: So are you going to [do] the [victim]?

d. Brehmer: Hehehe. Yeah I’m going to her [right now]….Ok found a place to do it at…Gonna go buy weed first. I wanna get her high for it so she doesn’t fight me…I love you”


n. Tyler: Force her tie her up if you have too

o. Brehmer: Okay

p. Tyler: Do the video

q. Brehmer: Ok

Investigators say Brehmer then sent a video to Schilmiller that shows Brehmer assaulting the victim. Schilmiller then asks for more pictures.

At this point, police say it appears the victim takes possession of Brehmer’s phone and begins communicating with Schilmiller and sending him a graphic video.

In another message from Schilmiller to Brehmer, he seems to reference Hoffman’s murder, saying:

“I wish I never made a deal with you in the first place…we can meet but once I see a cop I’m telling him or her that I made you rape people and killed cece. I don’t even deserve you…..”

In a statement Tuesday morning, APD says Schilmiller is a person of interest in the Hoffman homicide investigation and that he’s in custody for an ongoing federal investigation. 

Chloe Martin, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office District of Alaska, said Tuesday that Schilmiller is in custody in Indiana and will be extradited to face charges in Anchorage.

If you or someone you know are a survivor of sexual abuse and you would like to talk to someone, you can call STAR 24 hours a day at 907-276-7273 or toll-free at 800-478-8999.

STAR also has resources available on its website.
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