LUDINGTON (WWJ/AP) – A West Michigan man blamed for the disappearance of his baby daughter has been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for an unlawful imprisonment conviction in the case.
Mason County Circuit Judge Richard Cooper in Ludington sentenced Sean Phillips on Tuesday. The charge carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison. An additional charge of parental kidnapping was dropped.
After sentencing, Ludington police Chief Mark Barnett said the case now is being investigated as a homicide by his department, the FBI, state and county authorities.
Katherine Phillips was 4 1/2 months old when she was last seen June 29, 2011. She lived with her mother Ariel Courtland 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. Police did, however, find her clothing in Phillips’ shorts pocket.
A jury found Phillips guilty April 27 after a two-week trial.
Anyone with information about what happened to Katherine is asked to contact Mason-Oceana 911 at (231) 869-5858.
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