Promised $9m online, US teen killed 'best friend'

Photo: AFP

An American teenager has been charged with conspiring to murder her "best friend" after a man she met online offered her $9 million to commit the crime.

According to investigators, Denali Brehmer, an 18-year-old from Alaska, was recruited to kill her friend by a man a few years her elder, 21-year-old Darin Schilmiller of Indiana.

The pair had previously hooked up online, with Schilmiller assuming a fake identity and posing as a millionaire named "Tyler."

Court documents say that during the course of their online relationship, they discussed a plan to rape and murder someone in Alaska.

Schilmiller allegedly promised Brehmer $9 million or more to send him videos or photographs of the attack.

Brehmer then proceeded to recruit four other teens and the group settled on Cynthia Hoffman - who considered Brehmer to be her best friend - as their victim.

On June 2, authorities say, 19-year-old Hoffman was lured to a hiking trail northeast of Anchorage where she was bound with duct tape and shot once in the back of the head before being pushed into a river.

Her body was discovered on June 4.

Local news reports said Hoffman's father has described his daughter as having a learning disability and the mindset of a 12-year-old.

Police say the victim was driven to Thunderbird Falls by Brehmer and Kayden McIntosh, a 16-year-old boy, under the guise of going on a riverside hike.

McIntosh allegedly shot Hoffman with Brehmer's gun and dumped her body in the water.

Authorities say Brehmer communicated with Schilmiller throughout the murder, sending him "Snapchat photographs and videos of Hoffman tied up and of the body afterward."

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