Kelly Phillips murder: Tight-lipped police won't rule out anyone as search for Hoffman continues
Hoffman (right), the main suspect in the slaying of Phillips (left), remains at large.
On Monday, the same day Lush Food Bar co-owner and co-founder Kelly Phillips was brutally murdered at a Holiday Gas Station in Arden Hills, WCCO reported that Phillips's boyfriend was seen being placed in handcuffs.
That report wasn't entirely accurate, however. The man wasn't Phillips's boyfriend -- he was his fiance.
Kelly Phillips & partner Nathon Bailey who he planned to marry Aug. 30th. pic.twitter.com/f1El6cewuh
-- Iris Pérez (@IrisPerezFOX9) August 12, 2014
Ramsey County records confirm Bailey was arrested on suspicion of murder at 5:36 p.m. Monday. He was released early the next day, however, and hours later, Ramsey County authorities distributed a release asking the public to be on the lookout for Ty Hoffman, Phillips's onetime boyfriend and business partner, who was characterized as a "suspect" in the murder.
Just after 11:15 p.m. Monday, the black BMW witnesses say pulled into the gas station with Phillips inside just before he was gunned down was found in Blaine, Ramsey County Sheriff's Office spokesman John Eastham tells us. Shortly after we spoke with Eastham, this news broke:
CONFIRMED: Ramsey Co. says police presence at Blaine Airport related to search for suspect in yesterday's Arden Hills gas station shooting.
-- Zach Tecklenburg (@zachteck) August 12, 2014
We asked Eastham if investigators are now convinced that Bailey had no involvement in his fiance's murder. Eastham wouldn't directly answer, saying he wouldn't comment on the investigation, but he did point that out nobody has been charged yet.
Eastham said investigators' top goal at this point is to track down Hoffman, who remains at large as this is published.
Meanwhile, after being closed Tuesday, Lush plans to reopen today:
A sign at Lush Bar says it will be closed today to honor memory of Kelly Phillips, who was fatally shot yesterday. pic.twitter.com/fhUTNd7VUx
-- Sarah Horner (@hornsarah) August 12, 2014
Before he was with Hoffman, Phillips was married to a woman named Kathy Simon, the Star Tribune reports. Despite their split about two decades ago, Simon and Phillips remained close.
Simon told the Star Tribune that when Phillips was in the process of breaking up with Hoffman about three years ago, Phillips characterized Hoffman as "sort of violent... [Phillips] was ending the relationship."
The business relationship between Phillips and Hoffman continued until this year, however, when Phillips had Hoffman evicted from a northeast Minneapolis apartment near Lush he owned and severed ties with Hoffman, the Strib reports.
In addition to owning Lush, Phillips worked as an attorney for Boston Scientific. Company officials released a statement yesterday saying they are "devastated" by the news of Phillips's murder.
"Kelly will be remembered not only for his great skills as a lawyer, but also for his kindness, gentleness, and ability to make those around him feel better about themselves," it says.
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