Judge in Ludington drops murder charge against dad in disappearance of daughter, 'Baby Kate'


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LUDINGTON, Michigan — A judge has dismissed a murder charge against a northern Lower Peninsula man, accused of killing his missing 4 ½-month-old daughter.

Mason County District Judge Peter Wadel in Ludington threw out the open murder charge Monday against 24-year-old Sean Phillips. Katherine Phillips disappeared in 2011 in the Ludington area, about 80 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.

Phillips already is serving 10 to 15 years in prison for unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of the girl widely known as "Baby Kate."

Her body remains missing, and the judge says there isn't enough evidence she's dead.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and county Prosecutor Paul Spaniola say they'll appeal the decision. Schuette says "Baby Kate deserves full justice."

Wadel presided over a probable cause hearing for the father that ended July 31.

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