An online catfishing scheme launched by a depraved con artist from Indiana convinced a teenage girl from Alaska to murder her best friend in exchange for a non-existent $9 million.

The gruesome murder on June 2 of Cynthia Hoffman by her friend, 18-year-old Denali Brehmer, highlighted the dangers of catfishing, an online scam where a person creates a fake identity to build relationships with online users.

The catfisher in this case is Darin Schilmiller, a 21 year-old from New Salisbury, Indiana who pretended to be a millionaire named Tyler from Kansas. Court records about the case reveal Schilmiller and Brehmer fell in love online.

They exchanged "I love yous" on their iPhones only a few months after meeting online. They then discussed raping and killing someone in the weeks leading up to Hoffman’s murder.

An affidavit from an FBI agent filed in court also states Schilmiller offered to pay $9 million to Brehmer for the murder. Schilmiller also demanded video of the murder be sent to him.

Brehmer then recruited four of her friends to help with the murder. This included 19-year-old Caleb Leyland. The other two weren’t named in the court records.

Leyland told police after the crime was committed he had been promised $500,000 for his role in Hoffman’s murder.

Brehmer lured Hoffman to Thunderbird Falls Trail, telling Hoffman she and a group of friends were going on a hike. The conspirators tied-up Hoffman with duct tape before she was shot in the head by Brehmer.

Brehmer broke under investigation and admitted to police on June 4 she had murdered Hoffman. She was arrested and charged with conspiracy and murder in the first degree, two counts of second-degree murder, and five counts of tampering with evidence.

Realizing she’d been catfished, Breehmer also confessed to "being solicited ... to commit murder," said court documents.

On June 9, Schilmiller confessed to federal agents and Indiana state police to being "Tyler." He alsao admitted his involvement in the killing.

Schilmiller is in the custody of U.S. Marshals. He’s being held on a $1 million bail and faces state and federal charges that could result in life in prison.

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Representation image of a crime scene. Gerd Altmann/ Pixabay