Yesterday, police responded to a "civil situation" at the home, but soon learned it was an abduction.
Mason County Sheriff joined the investigation soon afterward. The Coast Guard and FBI are also involved.
Describing the suspect, vehicle, and Katherine. Asking if anyone saw them at or near the Wendy's restaurant between 1:00-2:00 pm.
Mr. Phillips has been charged with kidnapping. No other charges at this time, but the investigation is still developing. He is in the county jail, $500,000 bond.
Very interested in tips.
Any info on her condition? Nothing new. The idea is that she is still alive.
Any info from Mr. Phillips? He was spoken to under Miranda warnings. He did NOT relate her whereabouts.
Can you talk about what's going on at the lake? There was a tip about that location.
What is the role of the Coast Guard? Requested by Michigan State Police to help. Helping search Crystal Lake area, and as resources permit they will help more.
How many "scenes" are there now? Area near the lake, Grand Rapids crime lab, another area on Millerton (sp?) Road
Search at suspects parents home? That is one of the places being investigated
Why Crystal Lake? Not commenting on why we are there, other than we got a tip
Suspect and child's relationship? Suspect is biological father of Katherine's older sister, 3-4 years old. Have not determined if he is or is not Katherine's biological father
Why is she in "extreme danger"? We haven't gotten a satisfactory explanation on where Katherine is. She is unaccounted for, so she's in danger.
Was she taken from home or vehicle or? She was "near the vicinity of the mother's residence" in a vehicle
Why was the suspect there? Going to run an errand together
Any indication of the disagreement that led to him taking Katherine? We can't discuss that at this time. It may cause problems if discussed.
Was the suspect leaving for Afghanistan? He is in the National Guard. He has upcoming orders for deployment.
Was suspect alone with children? Mother was with them. Not sure if the other child was there or not
How long until police were called? Less than 30 minute delay
Suspect have permission to leave with child? No
Any custody rights? No rights with Katherine, but yes with the older child
Is the Millerton Road area part of crime scene? Search warrant has been issued for this area, as there may be evidence there. The suspect and his vehicle were located at this location (his parents home)
Canine units deployed? They have responded (in the area), but not deployed at this time
How crucial is time? We need to watch the weather, we need to collect evidence quickly. Any time a child is missing, the quicker the better. We are very anxious to get any information.
Any plans to search from community members? Once they do their own searches, they may implement that. They want to make the smallest "footprint" possible. Want it to be coordinated
Crystal Lake and Millerton Road the only two scenes? Yes, they are the only two "areas"
Operating under the assumption she is alive and unharmed? Yes
What constitutes the crime of kidnapping? How does it move from domestic dispute to kidnapping? There is parental kidnapping which requires 24-hours missing. Kidnapping charge against suspect doesn't require any time, just intent to deprive child from parent
DNA test for paternity? There is a separate preceding to determine paternity, not related to charges
Why the delay in the AMBER Alert for several hours? Getting information into the computer. Logistics issue. Could have been done more quickly.
Searching the water or the woods at Crystal Lake? Yes. Boat landing area. Water was looked at from the air. Dogs will also be looking in the area.
Looking for a boater that was on the lake yesterday? Don't know
Time frame from time she was reported missing from time suspect was found? 2 hours
Has the mother ever been investigated for child abuse? No. She is not a suspect.
Has she ever been charged with anything? Can't talk about that.
We are still optimistic and encouraged that she will be found safely. The weather is helping the optimism.