Indiana man pleads guilty to soliciting Anchorage woman’s murder in catfishing scheme

A sign, in a small garden with shrubs, reads "Nesbett Courthouse."
The exterior of the Nesbett Courthouse in downtown Anchorage on August 31, 2022. (Valerie Kern/ Alaska Public Media)

An Indiana man has pleaded guilty to soliciting the 2019 murder of an Anchorage woman in what prosecutors described as a catfishing scheme.

Darin Schilmiller, 25, used the name “Tyler” online and promised a group of teenagers millions of dollars to record themselves killing Cynthia Hoffman, 19, near Thunderbird Falls, north of Anchorage.

Schilmiller and one of the then-teens, Denali Brehmer, have both also pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges.

Brehmer, who pleaded guilty to the state murder charges in February, is set for sentencing later this month. Schilmiller’s sentencing is scheduled for January.

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Casey here

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