The father of Cynthia "Cee Cee" Hoffman, the 19-year-old who was allegedly killed by her "friend" for aearlier this month, spoke out at the suspect's trial on Wednesday to memorialize his slain daughter.
"The only thing I know is that my daughter trusted these people, my daughter just wanted friends," Timothy Hoffman said. "Now I have to bury her, and that is wrong," he added.
According to court documents, it all started when 18-year-old Denali Brehmer struck up an online relationship with 21-year-old Darin Schilmiller, who lives in Indiana. Schilmiller allegedly claimed he was a millionaire named Tyler, and instructed Brehmer to send photos and videos of a killing in exchange for $9 million. He did not name a target.
Brehmer allegedly offered four other friends a cut of the money for their help. Authorities say Brehmer and 16-year-old Kayden McIntosh lured Hoffman on a hike, during which she was shot in the back of the head and put into a river. One day after she was reported missing, police found her on a river bed bound with duct tape. Brehmer and McIntosh have since been charged with murder.
, Brehmer seemed to have nothing to hide. "I know what I did was wrong," she said, "and I know I probably could have done something different if I was able to."
Timothy said in court that his daughter was developmentally disabled and just wanted to be accepted. "My daughter was an angel," he said. "She was a daddy's girl."
Federal authorities say that Schilmiller convinced Brehmer to sexually assault two minors. The two are now also facing charges of child pornography.
Cybersecurity expert Adam Levin warns that young people are especially vulnerable to online manipulation.
"You can ruin your entire life in a matter of minutes based on what you see, what you do and how you react to people online," he said. He advises that parents tell their children to be careful of strangers online who get too close too fast, and ask for too much information.
"Do not believe everything you see or hear online," he said.
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