MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Before Kelly Phillips was part of a mystery, he was part of a love story.

He was set to wed his fiancé, Nathon Bailey, in a matter of days. It was a union his father, Iowa resident Jim Phillips, says the family was excited about.

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“He’s very lucky in picking a mate, partner that is very caring, loving,” Phillips said.

The two lived in Minneapolis’ oldest neighborhood, Marcy-Holmes. They were active in the neighborhood association, and locals say Phillips took meticulous care of the block and the several buildings he owned. He was even known to take the bus stop trash away in his own car if it got too full.

“One of the most caring, respectful, loving individuals [you can] imagine,” Phillips said.

He grew up in northern Iowa. He had four siblings and was an uncle to seven, with two more on the way. Just two weeks ago, he’d been with his family to help his parents move.

“Expressed his love … to us and we were very appreciative of that,” Phillips said.

His father says even when he was young he had several jobs, and Phillips eventually graduated at the top of his law school class at the University of Iowa. He then became a corporate attorney at Boston Scientific in Arden Hills, and eventually an executive.

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“He was a very generous son and did well in his business,” Phillips said.

Now the ones he loved so much will gather to grieve.

“We’re in the process of funeral plans and so on,” Phillips said.

WCCO also spoke with Phillips fiancé’s family Tuesday. They say Nathon Bailey has been in tears. He loved Phillips very much and hopes he is in a better place.

Both families will spend the next few days together in Iowa. Phillips’ friends told WCCO that he had dated prime suspect Ty Hoffman for many years, but they’d been broken up for years.

WCCO also obtained paperwork showing that just this past March, Phillips had tried to evict Hoffman from one of his properties.

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Multiple police agencies surrounded a pair of hangers at the Anoka County Airport Tuesday afternoon after receiving information that Hoffman may have been hiding there, but he was not found.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield