A reward of $25,000 is being offered for information leading to the capture of a Minnesota man charged with killing his former boyfriend earlier this month.
Lyle Marvin “Ty” Hoffman, 44, is wanted in connection with the death of Kelly Phillips, 48, a prominent businessman and activist in the Twin Cities. Police say Phillips and another man drove into a gas station in Arden Hills, a suburb of Minneapolis–St. Paul, August 11, got out of the car, and began to argue, according to Minneapolis TV station KCCO. The other man, believed to be Hoffman, then shot Phillips in the head and back, got back in the car, and ran over him. Phillips died shortly afterward. The suspect fled in the car, which was found abandoned in Blaine, another suburb.
Authorities in Ramsey County have charged Hoffman with second-degree murder and issued a warrant for his arrest. Last week the county sheriff’s department announced a $10,000 reward for help in finding Hoffman, but as of today the amount has risen to $25,000, thanks to contributions from friends and associates of Phillips, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
“Investigators are following leads that Hoffman may have fled the state and may be anywhere in the country,” said a statement from the sheriff’s office. Authorities say he should be considered armed and dangerous. Officials with the department also said Hoffman may be using Craigslist as well as social media apps such as Grindr and Scruff to find places to stay while on the run.
Phillips was an attorney for Boston Scientific, a maker of medical devices, working in its Arden Hills office. He was also co-owner of Lush Food Bar, a popular LGBT-focused nightclub and restaurant in Minneapolis. Hoffman, a real estate developer, had been his business partner in Lush as well as his boyfriend, but had not been involved in the business in nearly a year, according to KCCO. The two had once lived together, but at the time of his death, Phillips was planning to marry a man named Nathon Bailey.
Phillips had been active in the fight for marriage equality in Minnesota, which became a reality last year. “He was heavily involved in his community in every single respect,” Minneapolis City Council member Jacob Frey told WCCO. “While he had money, he just didn’t donate. He was knocking on dorm room doors for marriage equality. He didn’t just sit up on his perch and look down at the world. He got his hands dirty and worked the community.”
The sheriff’s department asks anyone with information on Hoffman’s whereabouts to call 911 or contact Crime Stoppers of Minnesota at (800) 222-8477. Find more information here.