Authorities released two new pieces of information in the manhunt for fugitive and suspected murderer Lyle "Ty" Hoffman, days after separate searches in the metro area ended without an arrest.
The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office issued a new photo Friday of Hoffman, the 44-year-old charged with murdering Boston Scientific executive Kelly Phillips – his former boyfriend and business partner – at an Arden Hills gas station last month. Hoffman has managed to evade capture since then.
The image (seen above) is dated Sept. 1 – one day after a bank robbery in which Hoffman is the main suspect. The new image was taken from a security camera at a metro big-box retailer, Sgt. John Eastham of the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office told KARE 11.
The photo was also added to a newly-updated wanted poster.
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That bank heist also provided authorities a potential trail of discolored bread crumbs.
The sheriff's office says a a security dye pack was taken with the money, which was stolen at gunpoint from a TCF Bank in Blaine Sunday afternoon. The dye pack was activated, causing the cash to be stained bright red.
The sheriff's office is asking people to be on the lookout for cash that appears to be splattered with red ink.
KSTP reports three stained $20 bills were spotted at a hotel in Shakopee Wednesday – two at the bar, one at the front desk. Investigators are looking at surveillance footage, but so far haven't found anyone matching Hoffman's appearance, the station says.
An example of what the red-tainted money would look like is below.
Surveillance cameras at the bank captured the suspect on video that day, and he appears to match the description of Hoffman. He had a beard and was wearing a white t-shirt, a baseball-style cap and glasses. Police searched the immediate area after the robbery but didn’t find the suspect.
Two days after the bank robbery, SWAT teams and helicopters conducted a daylong search at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport, combing through nearby wooded areas and locking down the airfield after reports of a possible sighting of Hoffman that morning. But they left at the end of the day empty-handed.
On Wednesday, the search shifted to the Prior Lake area, after a report he was seen in Mystic Lake Casino. That search also turned up empty.
Authorities said again this week they suspect someone in the area is providing help to Hoffman, which would be a felony.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office says Hoffman is considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached.
A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Hoffman. Authorities ask anyone who sees Hoffman to avoid contact with him and contact police at 911 immediately. Tips can also be shared anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).