Thunderbird Falls Murder: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Thunderbird Falls Murder: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Facebook Cynthia "CeCe" Hoffman

On June 2, Cynthia Hoffman was planning on visiting an Alaska theme park known as Polar Bear Park with some friends. What was seemingly an innocent evening of fun with friends, turned into Hoffman’s last night alive.

Although Hoffman’s parents received text messages regarding her whereabouts, they quickly realized these messages were forged and filed a missing person’s report on June 3.

Hoffman, 19, and the two who were accompanying her, Kayden McIntosh, 16-year-old male, and Denali Brehmer, 18-year-old female, ended up at Thunderbird Falls, a hiking area in Anchorage, Alaska.

McIntosh and Brehmer allegedly tied Hoffman up until McIntosh shot her in the back of the head and pushed her into a river, according to court records.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Officials Learned about the Thunderbird Falls Location after Talking to McIntosh & Brehmer

According to court records, police officers had no idea Hoffman’s body was located at Thunderbird Falls until after talking to the two suspects, McIntosh and Brehmer.

“During this time, detectives learned of the fake story about Polar Bear Park and sent officers to Thunderbird Falls trail. Officers discovered the body of the victim along the river bank,” the court records said.

Both McIntosh and Brehmer were charged with first-degree murder and evidence tampering, for forging text messages sent to Hoffman’s parents.

2. Three More People Have Arrested in Connection with Hoffman’s Murder

After the arrest of McIntosh and Brehmer, police learned of three more individuals who had ties to the murder of Hoffman. One adult male, a juvenile male and a juvenile female.

Police identified the adult male as Caleb Leyland, 19. Leyland was arrested for one charge of murder, one charge of conspiracy to commit murder and several counts of sexual assault.

As for the two juveniles, they have been put into custody and transported to McLaughlin Youth Center. Their charges were forwarded to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The names of the two juveniles have not yet been released.

3. Leyland Allegedly Helped Plan the Murder & Let McIntosh Borrow His Car

According to a statement obtained by the Alaska Star, police allege Leyland told them he helped plan the killing of Hoffman and let McIntosh borrow his Chevy Trail Blazer to commit the crime.

The unidentified male juvenile involved told the police that all five of those involved talked about and planned the kidnapping and murder of Hoffman.

The Alaska Star also reported Brehmer and McIntosh admitted to tying Hoffman up with duct tape prior to McIntosh shooting her in the back of the head. The two then admitted to gathering Hoffman’s belongings, driving to Mountain View and burning her belongings along with the murder weapon – a 9 mm handgun provided by Brehmer.

4. Indiana 21-Year-Old, Darin Schilmiller, Is Now a Person of Interest

Thunderbird Falls Murder: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Delani Bremher

According to court records, Indiana man Darin Schilmiller has been identified as a person of interest in this case. Schilmiller was identified as “Tyler” – the name Brehmer was texting throughout the planning of Hoffman’s murder.

KTVA reported that official documents said the Anchorage Police Department obtained Brehmer’s phone. While scouring Brehmer’s text messages, officials noticed a back-and-forth conversation with an individual listed as “Babe.” Brehmer later told police that this person’s name was “Tyler.”

Police used “Tyler’s” phone number to track him on Facebook. The account associated with that number was an Indiana man named, Darin Schilmiller.

In Brehmer’s interview, she claimed Schilmiller directed her to assault two minors, an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old.

5. Schilmiller Is Now in Custody under Child Pornography Charges

According to the Associated Press, Schilmiller is now in federal custody under child pornography charges. The exchanges Brehmer had with Schilmiller lead to graphic photos of an 8-year-old, 9-year-old and 15-year-old to be sent to Schilmiller.

According to KTVA, this is the following exchange the two had:

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

According to investigators, Brehmer sent videos to Schilmiller of her assaulting the minors. Schilmiller also asked for more photos after the videos were sent.

Schilmiller also sent the following text which may connect him to the murder of Cynthia Hoffman.

“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…..”

“CeCe” was Cynthia Hoffman’s nickname.