LUDINGTON (WWJ/AP) - A corrections guard testified Friday that he found a note in jail clothing of a Michigan father charged with secret imprisonment in the disappearance of his baby daughter.
The note officer John Long says was in Sean Phillips’ clothing read: “I gave her to a guy, along with a list of families that are adopting.”
Katherine Phillips was 4 1/2 months old when she last was seen June 29, 2011, with Phillips. Katherine lived with her mother Ariel Courtland at an apartment in Ludington, about 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. According to police, Courtland and Phillips had a dispute before he took the child.
Courtland has said Phillips told her that Katherine is still alive, but extensive searches haven’t turned up the girl.
Long testified that he found the note July 11, 2011 after Phillips had taken a shower.
“He said, ‘I forgot something in my shirt pocket and I need it back,’” Long testified about that day.
When he discovered the yellow piece of paper in the shirt, Long said he opened it to make sure it did not contain contraband and began to read it before deciding to take it to Det. Michael Kenney. The note was copied before the original was returned to Phillips.
According to The Ludington Daily News, this was the letter’s contents:
“I gave her to a guy, along with a list of families that are adopting (addresses).
“He was to take her to one and they would report that the baby was left on their doorstep but that they wish to keep it.
“Go on ParentProfiles.com and get contact info for families in the region. Hopefully the profile is still up.
“If not, then I can find contact info I have when I get out.”
There has not yet been any testimony about who wrote the note or how it got in Sean’s pocket.
Also revealed in trial Friday was the series of events which led to Phillips’ arrest.
According to court testimony, officers from the Mason County Sheriff’s Department went to Phillips’ house on June 29, 2011 to talk to him after hearing about Katherine’s disappearance.
Sean allegedly told officers that the baby was with Ariel, repeating that response three times.
When police asked whether Phillips was telling the whole truth, officers said he answered, “You’re right. I’m not telling you the whole truth.”
According to court documents, that’s when officers noticed something was in Phillips’ cargo shorts pocket and did a pat down, finding baby clothes wadded up in a ball.
When one of the officers asked Phillips what it was, he answered, “Her clothes.” Officers immediately put Phillips in handcuffs.
The trial resumes Monday, with many additional witnesses still to take the stand.
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