Above: Katherine Phillips in 2011
Katherine Shelbie Elizabeth Phillips
Last seen in Ludington, Michigan on June 29, 2011
Vital statistics: White female. Born on February 12, 2011. Light brown hair, blue eyes. She has a cleft chin. Her nicknames are "Kate" and "Katerbugger." Some agencies give her middle name as "Shelbie-Elizabeth." Last seen wearing a one-piece white outfit with black polka dots, black and pink flowers and pink shoulder straps . Was four months at the time.
Circumstances: She was initially abducted by her non-custodial father, Sean Michael Phillips. A photo is posted below. At the time she lived with her mother, Ariel Courtland, at Birch Lake Apartments in Tinkham. Courtland and Phillips were sitting in his car arguing about placing Katherine up for adoption and when Courtland left the vehicle Phillips drove away with his daughter. When Courtland could not reach him on his cell phone, she called 911. He was arrested several hours later at the home he lived in with his parents. He had Katherine's clothing in his pocket and her car seat and diaper bag were in the trunk of his car, but Katherine was not there and has not been seen since. Phillips had requested DNA testing to prove he was Katherine's father and had tried to convince Courtland to put Katherine up for adoption. The testing was concluded after Katherine went missing and confirmed Phillips was her father. He was initially charged with kidnapping; however the charges were later changed to false imprisonment and parental kidnapping. He was convicted in April 2012 and sentenced to ten to fifteen years in prison. In October 2013 prosecutors announced plans to file murder charges in the case. He has yet to be formally arraigned. Katherine remains missing.
Above: Sean Phillips in 2011
If you have any information as to Katherine's whereabouts, please contact the Ludington Police Department at 231-869-5858. Any information received can be kept confidential.
Information used to compile this casefile came from the following resources:
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The Charley Project
NamUs National Missing Persons Data System
Facebook page for Katherine Phillips
The Muskegon Chronicle
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