The suspect in a deadly Columbia Heights shooting last month is believed to have fled to Chicago after leading authorities on a multistate manhunt, according to new federal charges filed Thursday.
Phillip Leron Miller, 41, has been wanted on murder charges filed in Anoka County last month in the April 20 slaying of Philip Charles Borer Nelson.
According to an affidavit signed by an FBI agent on Thursday, an associate of Miller’s told authorities that she was with Miller at a Chicago hotel on April 24 — days after Borer Nelson, 31, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in Columbia Heights.
According to the agent, the woman told police that Miller knew authorities were looking for him and that he was trying to get money to retain an attorney before turning himself in. She also said she gave Miller about $1,000.
An FBI spokesman said Thursday that Miller is still at large. Miller is now being charged in a federal criminal complaint with “moving and traveling in interstate commerce” from Minnesota to Chicago to avoid prosecution.
Early on April 20, Borer Nelson’s ex-girlfriend called 911 to report an altercation and multiple gunshots in her apartment. Authorities believe Borer Nelson had come to her apartment, followed later by a male friend of the woman, a man known only as “Ox.”
After hearing gunshots, the woman went to a neighbor to call 911 and Ox fled the scene in a vehicle with Illinois plates. Police arrived about 4:30 a.m. and found Borer Nelson behind the couch covered in blood with multiple gunshot wounds. Though the woman said she didn’t know the shooter’s real name, investigators found that she had bought a phone for Miller and that his number was in her phone log identified by multiple heart graphics.
Using surveillance camera images and fingerprints on a soda bottle left at the apartment, investigators identified Miller as a suspect.
Employees at a Holiday gas station near Miller’s apartment also called police after an employee found a black handgun in one of the station’s outdoor trash cans. Surveillance video shows someone placing an object in the can about 4:50 that morning. Miller was shown arriving home two minutes later.
Miller, however, disappeared before police could take him into custody.
Staff writer Tim Harlow contributed to this report.