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Forest, Golf Course Will Be Searched For Missing Baby Girl

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Katherine Phillips (Courtesy: Ludington Police Department)

Katherine Phillips (Courtesy: Ludington Police Department)

LUDINGTON (WWJ/AP) – Authorities searching for a 4-month-old western Michigan girl who’s been missing since last week are planning to look in a forest and disc golf course.

The Ludington Daily News and The Muskegon Chronicle report the searches of the Ludington Area Schools’ forest and the Leviathan Disc Golf Course were planned for Friday afternoon.

Volunteers were sought for the search.

Police earlier searched areas including between the Ludington apartment where Katherine Phillips lives with her mother Ariel Courtland and the Scottville home of Sean Phillips, who is believed to be the child’s father. They previously located clothing that she was wearing when she was last seen on June 29.

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.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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