The Trail of Baby Kate


The Trail of Baby Kate

A group whose main purpose is to publicly coordinate facts and investigatory records about Baby Kate (Kathryn Phillips), an infant missing since June 29, 2011, and analyze that information so that the public can help in this investigation.  The Trail of Baby Kate will also be pushing for all investigatory records of the Baby Kate case to be made public.  The investigatory agencies have been silent long enough-- let's get on the Trail to find Baby Kate  

Members: 29
Latest Activity: Jun 30, 2019

Discussion Forum

Officially Eight Years Old: Baby Kate Missing

Started by XLFD. Last reply by Willy Jun 30, 2019. 1 Reply

Early in the afternoon of June 29, 2011, Ludington's Katherine Phillips (aka Baby Kate) was reported missing by her mother, Ariel Courtland.  The four month old girl would never be seen again.  …Continue

Sean Phillips Loses Appeal of Murder Charge in Michigan Supreme Court

Started by XLFD Nov 2, 2018. 0 Replies

It looks like Baby Kate's father will have at least 14 more years in prison without any more days in court.  The grounds of his appeal to reverse the decision had four prongs:  1) That Det. Posma's…Continue

Seven Years Missing: Katherine Shelbie-Elizabeth Phillips, aka Baby Kate

Started by XLFD Jun 29, 2018. 0 Replies

Baby Kate was just four months old on June 29, 2011 when she disappeared off the face of the earth, with only two people having seen her that day, her mother, Ariel Courtland, and father, Sean…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by XLFD on December 8, 2016 at 6:52pm

Tomorrow at 10:30 AM Sean Phillips will be sentenced for second degree murder of his infant daughter, Katherine Shelby Elizabeth Phillips (aka Baby Kate).  I will be attending to see what develops.

Comment by XLFD on September 28, 2016 at 4:59pm

We hope to provide coverage beginning tomorrow of the Sean Phillips Murder (of Baby Kate) Trial which has finally got a seated jury after three days.  Look here for supplementary information of the trial. 

Comment by AQUAMAN on October 23, 2015 at 12:55pm

Wth is criminal agency? And where's the body of the deceased? It would appear the appeals court wants the "preponderance of the evidence" to be the imagination of the juror. While I don't like seeing Sean Phillips go totally free, where's the law now? Don't we follow the law anymore? Or do we just follow feelings? 

Comment by XLFD on October 23, 2015 at 10:50am

One can only imagine what Judge Wadel (who will now see the murder trial come back to him, after not binding it over) thinks of the Mi App Court's decision which ends thusly:

"Accordingly, taking those facts together, a jury could reasonably infer that defendant wanted to hide his involvement in Kate’s death because she had died as the result of criminal agency.  Thus, in this case, there is sufficient evidence to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Kate died as a result of criminal agency.  As such, the district court abused its discretion by refusing to bind defendant over on the charge of open murder. (“A trial court necessarily abuses its discretion when it makes an error of law.”). The circuit court properly reversed the district court and reinstated the charge against defendant."

Comment by XLFD on October 23, 2015 at 10:38am

This just in:  Sean Phillips will stand trial for the murder of Baby Kate the Michigan Appeals Court declares in a 9-page ruling:

Comment by Raymond Vandenberg on March 4, 2015 at 12:37pm

not having privileged information makes any attempt to help difficult. My previous research confirms that you are correct concerning the environmental conditions at his residence. Any possibility of success, an effort to make an attempt, led me to accessible public lands, which included the area of Modjeski Road. The seclusion, the remoteness of the area, along with the phrase "a peaceful place", if it was a true sentiment, makes it a worthy attempt. I'll keep trying.

Comment by XLFD on March 3, 2015 at 10:27pm

I'm glad to see you take an interest Raymond, but be advised, that the soil and botanical evidence they got from the bottom of the shoe was not only downplayed in significance quite a bit by the defense in the April 2012 trial, when all three expert witnesses said that not only was the soil and plants could be found in many different locations, but could also have been picked up over a long period of time. 

After the trial, I was able to view the hospital footage where he was wearing one pair of shoes, different shoes than what he wore when he was being questioned that day, and different shoes than what the detectives believe he wore outside that day when disposing of Baby Kate. 

We thus have to believe that Phillips brought an extra pair of shoes with him that day, put the second pair on after getting his DNA test and supposedly abducted Kate, then came home, and changed out of these shoes again, but did not bother getting rid of other more damning evidence like the baby paraphernalia in his car and pants. 

What is also left out in the official version is that the same soil, climate, and wetland vegetation they were looking for exists right around Sean's house.  The shoe evidence is awfully sketchy in my opinion, and was only developed by law enforcement six months after Kate's disappearance. 

The botanical search in the summer of 2013 up around Modjeski Road was not a useful exercise, which the organizers were well aware of.  I believe it was only commenced to make it appear that they were doing something useful, but were only trying to help their chances for a murder charge by being able to claim they narrowed down the area where Kate could be, and making Sean the only possible suspect. 

If you're like me, Raymond and try to FOIA MSU or the police forces involved, they will not give you anything of value, claiming exemptions of things which shouldn't be exempt from disclosure, which should raise a red flag.  I would be thankful if you can help getting this solved, because the police from what I have seen, have a bunch of preconceived notions that violate common sense, yet they do not want to broaden their scope because they've already got someone in prison for many years.

Comment by Raymond Vandenberg on March 3, 2015 at 8:03pm

the "narrowed down location" of search area (per law enforcement) has not yielded the desired results;i.e.-physical evidence. Having located Carex Atlantica/prickley bog sedge while performing an independent search last summer, leads me to believe that if supplied with similar information as provided to those selected to the botanical search team, which I was not selected to be on, that I, at the least, increase the possibility of locating an infant that needs to be....brought home. Because of my desire to help I will continue to search, regardless....even after being officially informed that further searches or documentation are not necessary at this point. Encouragement to continue is not necessary but pertinent information will be invaluable. 

Comment by XLFD on February 12, 2015 at 9:38pm

For the optimistic, be sure to wish Baby Kate a Happy Fourth Birthday, wherever she may be, and lift a toast to her well-being with your favorite beverage.

Please also remember and keep in your prayers the family and friends of Darius Vanbrook the 12 year old who was hit by a corrections officer driving home on this date exactly three years ago today.  The Ludington Torch once again wants to extend their deepest sympathies and condolences especially to his mother, Serene Poyer. 

Comment by XLFD on December 15, 2014 at 12:08pm

Most people will look at you funny for making such a statement about Sean, wildfire, but I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibilities.  The way the authorities are sitting on the information just invites such speculation.  Well into the fourth year of this crime, the authorities are still keeping many relevant records from the public claiming they are either part of an active investigation or that they could somehow taint the jury pool. 

I find it hard, however, to fault Ariel for running around with a new guy or make any suppositions about that, because after all, it has been nearly four years and even if she is only a grieving mother and not a scheming accomplice to murder/kidnapping, her life must go on.


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