A man from western Michigan has been charged with killing his daughter, after she went missing over two years ago. The young girl was last seen in northern Michigan in the Ludington area, which is about 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. Her name was Katherine Phillips and she was only four and a half months old at the time that she was last seen. In a very sad story, hopefully the conviction will give the rest of the girl's friends and family some closure on the case. Katherine went missing in June of 2011.
Sean Phillips, the girl's father has been charged with the crime and according to Attorney General Bill Schuette, the filing of the open murder charge "moves us one step closer to securing justice for baby Kate. Sean is only 23 years old and was convicted previously in 2012 of unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of his daughter, according to ABC News. Now that new evidence has been unearthed, they are able to up the charge to murder, and finally solve the case once and for all.
UPDATE: Press conf. w/Mason Co. Prosecutor in Ludington is now at 12:30. RE: Major update in Katherine Phillips, AKA "Baby Kate" case.
— A.G. Bill Schuette (@SchuetteOnDuty) October 4, 2013
Ariel Courtland, Katherine's mother, claimed that she last saw her daughter in a car seat in the back seat of Phillips' car. The attorney general involved with the case announced that there has been new evidence discovered supporting a murder charge, but did not give details as to what that evidence is. Paul Spaniola, the Mason County prosecutor said "This continuing investigation has included review of biological evidence, site visits, and the enlistment of experts from all over the world who are preeminent in their fields."
With the charge being an open murder, it means that the jury is able to consider both first and second degree murder in the case. CBS Detroit mentions that Phillips abducted the baby he feared that a court-ordered paternity test would confirm that he was the father. The mother has said that Phillips wanted to put Katherine up for adoption but she had refused. He is currently trying to appeal the charge that will have him serving a sentence of 10 to 15 years in prison.
New charges for the father of Kate Phillips-The baby from Ludington who has been missing for more than 2 years. More at 6 pm @WLNS
— Savana Ciavatta (@SCiavattaWLNS) October 4, 2013
AG Bill Schuette announces murder charges against missing 'baby Kate' father Sean Phillips, "Victims of crimes should not be forgotten"
— Lindsey Smith (@lzsmitty) October 4, 2013
It is incredibly sad that he would have to go to such drastic measures in this type of a case, but hopefully this conviction will give Katherine's family some closure and her body will turn up as well.
Image via Yotutube