Sean Phillips, 23, was officially charged with murder in the missing Michigan baby case from two years ago. Katherine "Kate" Phillips went missing in June 2011, and her body has never been found. A joint investigation led to the new charges against father Sean Phillips. He was charged via video link from the Carson City Correctional Facility late Friday afternoon in Mason County District Court, according to UpNorthLive on Oct. 4.
In a press conference earlier Friday, Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the new charges against Sean Phillips, who is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for unlawful imprisonment.
Schuette said new evidence was discovered that supported the open murder charge, but stopped short of saying exactly what that was. "It is the objective of this prosecution to finally do justice for Baby Kate", Schuette said at the press conference.
Four-month-old Katherine Phillips disappeared on June 29, 2011, while under the care of her father, Sean. To this day the missing Michigan baby's remains have not been found.
The murder charge on Friday was the result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation. Phillips will be prosecuted with help from a member of the State Attorney General's staff.
Following sentencing in the unlawful imprisonment case, Sean was named a suspect in Baby Kate's murder. Mother Ariel Courtland was present, along with other family members, when the announcement was made Friday.
Investigators believe he dumped Baby Kate’s body in what Phillips described himself as a "peaceful place", in a prison letter he penned last year to the infant's mother Ariel.
In the letter, he claimed he accidentally killed his daughter Kate, when he angrily yanked the car seat out of his car without realizing she was in it. He was supposedly furious at Ariel at the time, according to the Muskegon Chronicle.
Ariel's Grandmother, Linda Carlson, told reporters Friday that she hopes justice will finally be done for Baby Kate, and that the family may get some sort of closure. "We might not be able to bury her but, guess that's just as good as it gets", Carlson said.
Phillips was denied bond at his court arraignment Friday. He's expected to appear back in court on Oct., 16. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.