Updated: 09/03/2014 7:20 AM
Created: 09/02/2014 10:07 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson
The search for a suspected killer wrapped up Tuesday at an airport in Blaine with no luck catching him.
The second search of the Anoka County-Blaine Airport started less than 24 hours after police had finished a separate search the day before. Tuesday’s search for Lyle Marvin “Ty” Hoffman started after a possible sighting was reported in the area. Witnesses saw a man wearing a baseball cap and carrying a duffel bag walking down Van Buren Street near 93rd Lane.
Police say they started searching at the north end of the airport where commercial planes are kept, and SWAT teams checked three planes around 9 a.m. After that, authorities shut down all the roads leading into the airport and started combing through the brush. A helicopter also searched from above.
The search was called off just before 5 p.m., but police say they’re not giving up.
“It’s very difficult to stay hidden for a long time,” Blaine Police Chief Chris Olson said. “We think he’s getting assistance from someone.”
Police say Hoffman previously took flight lessons at the airport, which is why it has been a focus of their search; they have searched this part of the airport twice before. Police cars have barricaded multiple entrances to the private plane hangars.
Hoffman is accused of killing his ex-boyfriend, 48-year-old Kelly Phillips, at an Arden Hills gas station last month. They drove to an Arden Hills gas station Aug. 11, and Phillips was shot in the head and back as he tried to run from the gunman, witnesses say.
Friends, neighbors and family members say Hoffman and Phillips were in a relationship for several years and that the relationship did not end well. Besides their romantic history, the two were also co-founders of the Lush Food Bar in Minneapolis.
Phillips was a vice president and general counsel at Boston Scientific and worked at the Arden Hills office, which is about two miles from where he was killed. He and his new fiancé were planning to marry later this month.
Hoffman disappeared after the shooting.
Hoffman is also suspected of robbing a bank in Blaine over the weekend. The robbery happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday at the TCF Bank on County Road 10 Northeast.
Police say a man wearing a white T-shirt, baseball hat and sunglasses displayed a handgun and left with an undisclosed amount of money. Police say video footage of the incident shows the suspect matches the description of Hoffman.
Prosecutors have charged Hoffman with second-degree murder and issued a national warrant for his arrest.
Blaine police say Hoffman is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. Anyone who sees suspicious activity or has information is asked to call 911.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $25,000 reward for anyone who has information leading to Hoffman's arrest and conviction. Call 800-222-TIPS with information.