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Father In Missing Baby Case Rejects Plea Deal

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Sean Phillips (credit: Ludington Police Dept.)

Sean Phillips (credit: Ludington Police Dept.)

LUDINGTON (WWJ/AP) - The father of a baby who has been missing since June in western Michigan has rejected a plea deal and is heading to trial on charges of unlawful imprisonment and parental kidnapping.

Twenty-one-year-old Sean Phillips is jailed on $250,000 bond. He rejected a plea deal at a court hearing Tuesday in Ludington. Terms of the proposed deal weren’t disclosed.

The charges carry up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

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.

katherine phillips e1309428674610 Father In Missing Baby Case Rejects Plea Deal

Katherine Phillips (Courtesy: Ludington Police Department)

Courtland has said Phillips indicated to her Katherine is still alive, although he would not say more.

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

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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