09/11/2012 06:47 pm ET Updated Sep 12, 2012

Ariel Courtland, Mother Of Baby Kate Phillips, Plans To Marry Man Suspected Of Killing Their Daughter

The mother of an infant girl who has been missing since June, 2011, plans to marry the man suspected of killing their infant daughter last year.

Ariel Courtland has filed paperwork to marry Sean Phillips, the father of her daughter, Kate, known in the Michigan area as "Baby Kate Phillips."

Baby Kate disappeared on June 29, 2011, at the age of 4 1/2 months, from her home in Ludington, Mich. Phillips was the last person to see her alive, WOOD-TV reported.

The child's body was never found, but Phillips was convicted for the unlawful imprisonment of her in April. He is currently serving 10 years at Ionia Prison.

On the same day of his conviction, police named him as a suspect in a homicide investigation into the the girl's death.

Courtland filed an affidavit Monday in that county to marry Phillips, but said she is not marrying him for love, according to She is hoping that the marriage will enable her to visit Phillips and find out what happened to their child.

Courtland, who testified against Phillips during his trial, has 30 days to marry Sean Phillips before the application is null.

Phillips has remained tight-lipped about what happened to his daughter, according to

Although the search for the missing girl has continued on and off, authorities say they have no new leads.

Courtland told WOOD-TV that Phillips has asked her to marry him before, but marrying may not get her the answers or access she wants.

John Cordell of the Michigan Department of Corrections told WOOD-TV by email that the warden of Phillips' prison "maintains the authority to deny the visit even if the person is married to the prisoner."




Missing Children