Content Warning: This article discusses sexual assault and may be triggering to some readers.
When 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman failed to return home earlier this month, her parents knew something wasn’t right.
Affectionately known by her friends and family as CeeCee, alarm bells were set off when the Hoffman family’s third oldest daughter failed to meet up with her sister at a local shopping centre.
“When she didn’t come home the first day, I knew something was wrong,” Cynthia’s father told KTUU. “And then all I could think about was the knock on the door.”
“I put out search parties,” he added. “I drove my motorcycle through woods and bike paths. I floored it all over town doing speed limits I should not have been doing looking for my kid.”
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A few nights later, that fateful knock came around dinner time.
“I just looked at them and said, ‘She’s dead. Isn’t she?’ And they said ‘Yes,'” Hoffman told KTUU.
Cynthia had been lured to Thunderbird Falls Trail in Anchorage, Alaska. She believed she was going on a hike with her group of friends.
At one point on the trail, however, the group stopped and bound Cynthia’s hands, mouth and feet with duct tape.
When police found her body on the banks of the Eklutna River, two days after she was reported missing, they discovered she had been shot in the back of the head.
Denali Brehmer, Cynthia’s best friend, was the one who had orchestrated the murder.
Cynthia Hoffman was killed last week near Thunderbird Falls; five people have been arrested in connection with the shooting. pic.twitter.com/z8kv2U6Ynw
— KTVA 11 News (@ktva) June 10, 2019