Court Documents: Why Baby Kate’s Father Was Charged With Murder

Posted at 7:00 PM, Oct 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-08 19:00:21-04

LUDINGTON, Mich.–New court documents shed light on why Baby Kate’s father is now charged with her murder.

Probable cause documents obtained by Fox 17 explain why investigators say Sean Phillips had a motive to kill his 4 month-old daughter Katherine.

Investigators say there was an argument between Phillips and her mother Ariel Courtland. According to them, Phillips did not want to take a paternity test and wanted to put Katherine up for adoption. He was ordered to take a test on the same day she went missing and never showed up. He was the last one to be seen with her.

She went missing in June 2011 and hasn’t been seen since; Phillips was originally convicted for unlawful imprisonment.

On Friday, the Attorney General announced he was involved in the case for about a year. After more than two years of looking for answers, Bill Schuette along with the Mason County prosecutor says they’re one step closer to justice after charging him with open murder.

Documents say Baby Kate’s clothes were found in Phillips’ pocket and her car seat and diaper bag were in his car. Investigators say he’s also given conflicting statements, one in a letter he wrote to Ariel, saying he ripped Baby Kate’s car seat out of his vehicle and accidentally killed her. In the note investigators say he wrote he left her in a “peaceful place.” The Mason County prosecutor has said the letter is “important.”

Earlier this year, a search was also conducted after finding a rare soil on the bottom of Phillips’ shoes. Although Baby Kate has never been found, in the court documents it says an extensive analysis of that soil has narrowed the likely location of the alleged crime to a specific wetland in Mason County.

A lot of this information has been revealed in Phillips’ previous trial, but Schuette says he is confident there is enough evidence to earn a conviction on these charges.