LUDINGTON (WWJ/AP) – A lawyer for a man who authorities say kidnapped a baby who has been missing since late June in western Michigan is asking a judge to toss out the criminal case.

The Ludington Daily News and The Muskegon Chronicle report the lawyer said in a court filing that 21-year-old Sean Phillips is the father of Katherine Phillips and can’t be convicted of kidnapping under state law.

Katherine was 4-months-old when she last was seen June 29 with Phillips. Katherine lived with her mother, 19-year-old Ariel Courtland, at an apartment in Ludington, about 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.

Courtland said her daughter was in the car when Phillips drove off from her apartment. 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.

Extensive searches still haven’t turned up the girl, although police have located the clothing she was last seen wearing.

Phillips is facing charges of kidnapping and child enticement.

Authorities previously said Phillips was believed to be the child’s father. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Sept. 14 in Mason County Circuit Court.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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