Trial underway in 'Baby Kate' disappearance - WNEM TV 5

Trial underway in 'Baby Kate' disappearance

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Sean Phillips Sean Phillips
LUDINGTON, MI (WNEM) -

A northern Michigan man accused of killing his infant daughter is facing an important hearing to determine if there's enough evidence to send the case to trial.

Sean Phillips is charged with murder in the disappearance of Katherine Phillips, a 4 1/2-month-old known as "Baby Kate."

Katherine hasn't been seen since 2011.

The mother testified as the first witness at a hearing to determine if the child's father stands trial for murder.

Ariel Courtland talked about the last time she saw 4 1/2-month-old Katherine Phillips.

Prosecutors say 23-year-old Sean Phillips took her from her mother, because he feared a court-ordered paternity test would show he was the father.

Prosecutors believe to have evidence that could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Sean Phillips murdered his own daughter, Baby Kate. 

The young girl's body has never been found. The court hearing started Thursday in Ludington and could last two days.

Phillips is serving a 10- to 15-year sentence for kidnapping the girl on June 29, 2011. 

Investigators have tried to find a body by examining seeds and other plant material on Phillips' shoes.

If he's convicted of murder, he could spend life behind bars.

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