ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – A 2017 graduate of North Harrison Excessive College in Indiana is beneath arrest in a grotesque murder-for-hire killing carried out by youngsters in Alaska. State of Alaska prosecutors say 21-year-old Darin Schilmiller of New Salisbury, a small, rural farming group close to Indiana’s southern border with Kentucky, “is among the main actors in Ms. Hoffman’s homicide.”
Cynthia Hoffman was discovered useless close to Thunderbird Falls on June 4. (Courtesy Timothy Hoffman)
The State of Alaska filed homicide fees simply days after federal prosecutors arrested Schilmiller in a separate however tangential case: manufacturing and tried solicitation of kid pornography.
Proof of sexual violence towards minors was found on Schilmiller’s cellphone and the cellphone of an 18-year-old in Alaska he’d turn out to be concerned with whereas utilizing a pretend on-line id.
Alaska’s Denali Brehmer and a person she thought was a millionaire named Tyler from Kansas traded “I like you’s” on their iPhones and mentioned raping and killing somebody for weeks main as much as the homicide, in accordance an affidavit from an FBI agent filed in courtroom, which additionally states Schilmiller had supplied to pay $9 million for the homicide.
Now, Schilmiller, who till his arrest was residing with an older relative in a single-story brick dwelling on practically two acres of land, is within the custody of U.S. Marshals, held on a $1 million bail requirement and going through state and federal fees that might end in life in jail.
“Please go away me and my household alone,” a person who answered a cellphone name on the Schilmiller residence advised KTUU Monday. “We now have nothing to say.”
The person, who didn’t determine himself, stated solely that the household was itself making an attempt to make sense of what was occurring. And that it “can be as much as the courts to determine.”
A number of former schoolmates of Schilmiller’s described an extremely shy younger man who struggled at school, handled others effectively, and was extra prone to be bullied than to bully others.
However a troubling facet additionally emerged among the many descriptions.
“I do not suppose that anyone thought he would ever kill anyone however the youngster pornography–he undoubtedly had an issue there,” Jaden Pohle, 18, advised KTUU in a cellphone interview. She attended center college and highschool two years behind Schilmiller, who’s older.
Pohle left her dwelling and drove up the highway to have a mobile sign robust sufficient for connection to talk with us.
She stated Schilmiller used to relentlessly ask her for bikini photographs, and as soon as, tried to pal her with a pretend profile.
Because the years went on and classmates turned mother and father, it was well-known among the many city on some 600 people who Schilmiller requested the mothers he knew for photographs of their kids, Pohle stated.
One other lady, Shiann Arnold, advised KTUU she’d had first-hand expertise with the disturbing requests, conned by Schilmiller, she stated, beneath a pretend identify and relationship profile as not too long ago as this January.
KTUU discovered quite a few on-line profiles for Schilmiller spanning a few years throughout a number of social media platforms. The frequent themes? A robust need to seek out associates and join with ladies.
Arnold advised Channel 2 that after the fraudulent courtship started, Schilmiller, utilizing a pretend identify, confessed: “I’ve an issue I need to inform somebody and I do not know the way.”
However, earlier than he would reveal his secret, Arnold stated he first wished her to ship diaper change photographs of her daughters.
Distressed on the request, and rising suspicious of the profile, she ended their interplay, she stated.
The sequence of occasions echoes a 2018 youngster pornography investigation detailed by the FBI in courtroom information. As brokers seemed into his previous, they discovered Harrison County had seemed right into a declare by a California lady that Schilmiller had contacted her and requested photographs of infants and soiled diapers. The case was closed with no motion taken.
In his relationship with Brehmer, investigators say the acquainted chorus surfaced once more. In textual content messages to Brehmer. Schilmiller–under the id of “Tyler”–confesses to a baby porn fetish and rape fantasies, in line with excerpts of conversations detailed by an agent with the FBI’s Baby Exploitation Activity Power.
A number of acquaintances of Schilmiller’s have advised KTUU Schilmiller’s affinity for photographs of younger kids was well-known–an open secret they did not acknowledge as a deepening drawback.
“I believe most individuals simply thought it was as a result of he did not know… like he was simply sluggish,” Pohle stated.
Now, the tight-knit group is taking a look at that odd vibe they stated Schilmiller exuded in hindsight, questioning how he turned concerned in a weird homicide plot centered on intercourse and lies and carried out from afar. A plot that relied, prosecutors have stated, on the keen participation of youngsters in Alaska.
The FBI has stated there isn’t any proof homicide sufferer Cynthia Hoffman was sexually assaulted. However she was sure and executed–shot within the head and pushed right into a river–violence prosecutors say Brehmer and a 16-year-old carried out themselves, however which relied on planning from all six people concerned.
Based on prosecutors, Brehmer was in direct contact with Schilmiller because the kidnapping and homicide unfolded at a scenic Alaska climbing spot and overlook someday earlier than the Indiana man’s twenty-first birthday.
“He knew the distinction between proper and improper. He did not steal. He actually did not do something unhealthy,” Pohle stated. “I suppose he simply did not perceive life.”
Co-defendants Denali Brehmer, 18, Kayden McIntosh, 16, and Caleb Leyland, 19, are scheduled for arraignment Tuesday on the homicide fees.
Schilmiller is within the custody of U.S. Marshals and is predicted to be transferred to Alaska to face fees.
Two unnamed juveniles are additionally charged with homicide. McIntosh, who’s accused of firing the gun the day of the homicide, is being tried as an grownup.
Channel 2 shall be within the courtroom Tuesday to see no less than three of the suspects arraigned for his or her accused roles within the loss of life of Cynthia Hoffman: Denali Brehmer, Kayden Mcintosh, and Caleb Leyland.
It’s unclear if Darin Schilmiller shall be current for the arraignment. Neither is Channel 2 anticipating the looks of the 2 unnamed juveniles charged in reference to Cynthia Hoffman’s homicide.
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