Friends of Kelly Phillips plead for public's help to find murder suspect


Monday morning will mark two weeks since Kelly Phillips, an executive at Boston Scientific, was fatally shot in the parking lot of an Arden Hills gas station, and his friends are hoping an increased reward and a public plea will lead to the suspect's arrest.

Lyle Marvin "Ty" Hoffman, Phillips' former business partner and ex-boyfriend, has been charged in the killing, but he hasn't been seen since he drove away from the gas station the morning of Aug. 11.

"People don’t disappear in thin air, this execution happened at 8:40 in the morning along a busy interstate at a busy location. The car has been recovered, somebody knows something,” Jason Tober, a friend of Phillips, told WCCO. “Our appeal is for people to be active, to be aware and to help.”

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office released a new wanted poster last week, which was updated with a $10,000 reward for information that leads to Hoffman's arrest. Tober and Erik Lucken helped raise money to increase the reward.

“We were shocked and frustrated that a week had passed and no arrest had been made in the case,” Lucken told WCCO. “Tomorrow morning at 8:40, it will be a full two weeks since Kelly was murdered in broad daylight during rush hour in a heavily populated area. The police know exactly who they’re looking for and yet no arrests have been made.”

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said last week Hoffman may have fled the state and could be anywhere in the country. Officials believe he may be getting help from others.

“Hoffman is known to associate within the gay community and investigators believe that he may use Grindr, Craig’s List, Scruff or other applications to find shelter,” the wanted poster says.

Officials say the handgun used in the shooting hasn't been recovered and Hoffman should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about Hoffman’s whereabouts is urged to call 911 or report tips anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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The victim

Phillips was the vice president and general counsel for Boston Scientific and co-founded Lush Food Bar in Minneapolis with Hoffman. The two also used to be romantically involved.

Phillips was set to be married at the end of August.

Phillips was remembered last weekend at funeral services, which were held in his hometown of Mason City, Iowa.

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