LUDINGTON (WWJ) – The investigation continues into the whereabouts of four-month-old Katherine Phillips, who has been missing for over a week.
Investigators are searching for the cell phone belonging to Katherine’s mother, 19-year-old Ariel Courtland. The cell phone was left in the Silver 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue owned by Sean Phillips when he allegedly left with Katherine last Wednesday afternoon. The phone is described as a HTC Desire Model ADR627SA, described as black in color with a light purple trim ring around the display window.
The baby was not with Phillips when he was arrested at his parent’s house, a short time after an Amber Alert was issued for Katherine. He faces kidnapping and child enticement charges.
Courtland has said Phillips indicated to her Katherine is still alive, although he would not say more.
Meantime, investigators are continuing their search for the little girl, scouring railroad beds, fields and roads. Volunteers have been assisting police in their search, distributing flyers to local businesses and households. Each tip that has been received has been investigated.
Katherine was last seen June 29, wearing a one piece outfit with a black and pink flower pattern. Police have since located the clothing, but not the girl.
Courtland said her daughter was in the car when Phillips drove off from her apartment, 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.
Courtland’s close friend Fawn Nelson told the Ludington Daily News the baby’s DNA was to be taken the day she went missing, adding that Courtland and Phillips were fighting about the paternity test issue when he left with the child. Nelson said Phillips had wanted the baby put up for adoption, but Ariel didn’t.
According to Mason County prosecutors, Phillips is not listed on the baby’s birth certificate and has not had any custody of the child.
Phillips and Courtland have an older daughter, 3-and-a-half-year-old Haley, together.
Investigators would still like to speak with anyone that saw Phillips during the hours of 1 pm - 4 pm on Wednesday, June 29th. He was reported to have been seen at the Wendy’s Restaurant and near the Birch Lake Apartments during that time frame.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Mason-Oceana 911 at 231-869-5858. Persons wishing to provide information anonymously can call Silent Observer at 888-786-7274. Anonymous information can also be provided at www.lsotip.com or by texting “LSOTIP” and your tip to 274637.