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Vigil Planned For Baby Missing Since June

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Katherine Phillips (Courtesy: Ludington Police Department)

Katherine Phillips (Courtesy: Ludington Police Department)

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LUDINGTON (WWJ/AP) – A candlelight vigil is scheduled to take place this weekend for a baby who has been missing since June in western Michigan.

The vigil for Katherine Shelbie-Elizabeth Phillips is planned for 8 p.m. Saturday at Waterfront Park in Ludington. People are asked to bring a candle and lawn chair.

Her father Sean Phillips is charged with kidnapping and is jailed. Police said that he has indicated the baby is still alive, but would not elaborate.

Katherine was 4 1/2 months old when she last was seen June 29 with Phillips. Katherine lived with her mother, Ariel Courtland, at an apartment in Ludington, about 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.

Extensive searches haven’t turned up the girl.

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 Courtland didn’t.

Phillips and Courtland have an older daughter, 3-and-a-half-year-old Haley, together.

Phillips’ lawyer is seeking to have the criminal case thrown out. A hearing on the request is Sept. 14 in Mason County Circuit Court.
Prosecutors are challenging the request.

Anyone with information about the baby’s whereabouts or what happened to the child is asked to contact Mason-Oceana 911 at 231-869-5858. Those wishing to provide information anonymously can call Silent Observer at 888-786-7274.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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