Baby Kate’s Father Charged With Open Murder

Posted at 6:40 PM, Oct 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-04 18:44:22-04

LUDINGTON, Mich.– Prosecutors are calling it a step towards justice for Baby Kate. Her father, Sean Phillips, is now officially charged with open murder.

For more than two years, 4-month old Katherine Phillips’ disappearnce from Ludington has captured attention across West Michigan and nationwide.

Sean Phillips was convicted of unlawful imprisonment after taking his daughter following an argument between her mother, Ariel Courtland.   He is currently behind bars serving a 10-year sentence.

Friday during a press conference, Mason County prosecutor Paul Spaniola announced he was now working with state attorney general Bill Schuette on the case. Spaniola says he got in touch with Schuette’s office about a year ago.

“This case has been so prominent in our community and our county that we have lived this case since the afternoon of June 29th 2011 therefore i thought it was important to get a fresh look through other prosecutor’s eyes,” he said.

Officials wouldn’t expand on what that evidence was but the prosecutor says a letter Phillips wrote is “important.”  Police have said in the past, Phillips wrote a letter to Ariel admitting to killing baby Kate but claimed it was an accident.

“We have evidence that we are convinced will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Sean Phillips murdered his own daughter,” Schuette said.

Despite numerous searches with the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, the most recent in June Baby Kate’s remains still haven’t been found.

Baby Kate’s great grandmother Linda Carlson said “I would just like to see it be done and have that closure. We might not be able to bury her; it’s just as good as it gets probably.”

Phillips will be back in court for his preliminary hearing on Oct. 16.