Murder charges filed in 'violent death,' but suspect nowhere to be found

Philip Charles Borer Nelson was found shot dead behind a couch in an apartment last week.
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An Illinois man now accused of shooting someone in a Twin Cities apartment is nowhere to be found, and authorities are asking anyone who sees him to call 911 immediately.

Phillip Leron Miller was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in connection with what authorities had described as a "violent death" in a Columbia Heights apartment last week. The victim, 31-year-old Philip Charles Borer Nelson, was found dead behind a couch, covered in blood, according to the criminal complaint. He'd been shot more than once.

Miller, who investigators knew only as "Ox" after the shooting, has since disappeared. The charges say investigators have used GPS and phone data as well as location searches to try to find him, but to no avail. The car he was said to have been driving had Illinois plates, and he gave police a Chicago address in a March traffic stop.

There is an active warrant for his arrest, and he has a previous criminal history in Illinois – anyone who sees him should call 911 immediately and not interact with him, the Anoka County Sheriff's Office says.

Here's a brief look at some of the details from the criminal complaint, which is based mainly on forensics and an interview with an unidentified woman who lives at the apartment where the shooting happened, and used to date Nelson, the complaint says.

The woman said Nelson buzzed her apartment the morning of April 20. He was in her apartment for a bit but left.

The woman then called Miller and he arrived 15 minutes later. The two were in her bedroom, the woman said she was cold and went to check windows – that's when she saw a figure hiding behind her living room couch. She had Ox go take a look while she stayed in the bedroom. Then she heard yelling and gunshots, and fled to a neighbor's and called 911.

She also said her roommate was sleeping in a different room, and that her child was asleep in the living room at the time. Investigators got there at about 4:30 a.m. and found Nelson dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

The suspect, who'd been referred to as "Ox," had disappeared. Surveillance footage and fingerprint analysis place him at the apartment complex that night.

GPS and surveillance meanwhile place him at a Brooklyn Park apartment building shortly after the shooting. A car of witnesses said Ox left the crime scene in was at that apartment complex. And workers at a gas station less than half a mile away from there found a gun in the trash bin that's the same caliber as the one used to kill Nelson.

Nelson's fiancé meanwhile told investigators he'd left at 3 a.m. saying he "had to go," and 33 minutes later called to say everything was fine. He'd also expressed concern in the past his ex would try to set him up in some way.

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