MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the search for Lyle “Ty” Hoffman continues, the reward money for his capture grows.

Whoever helps authorities track down the man who has eluded police for nearly a month will earn $25,000.

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Hoffman is accused of killing his former boyfriend and business partner, Kelly Phillips, at an Arden Hills gas station last month.

“A lot of times the first $1,000 will come from Crime Stoppers,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. “And then as the information gets out, [it comes from] people from the public.”

Sheriff Stanek says most law enforcement agencies have a partnership with Crime Stoppers, a non-profit organization that takes tips on cases — often anonymously — and gets the reward money started.

The majority of the reward money actually comes from donations from friends, family and even complete strangers.

When a tip comes in to law enforcement, the caller is given an identification number. And if their tip leads to an arrest or conviction, police let Crime Stoppers know.

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“We turn that information over to Crime Stoppers. They objectively, through their own board of directors, make a determination about the payout,” Stanek said.

Sometimes the money is divided up between people. Sometimes an amount is given to a tipster to help them relocate for safety reasons. But Stanek says the entire amount usually isn’t paid out to just one person.

The state of Minnesota actually has a special fund for cold cases, where the reward money is often $50,000 or more.

The reward connected to the unsolved murder of 11-year-old Kevin Brewer in 2000 is now at $150,000.

“The more money that’s put towards it, usually [a] higher rate of success at the end of the day,” he said.

Sheriff Stanek says that in many cases, the entire reward isn’t paid out.

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The remaining money usually stays in a revolving fund to help with other cases.

John Lauritsen