Police Asking People To Stop Their Own Searches For Missing Baby

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116
Police Asking People To Stop Their Own Searches For Missing Baby

How do you feel about the police telling people not to search for this baby on their own? Is it valid that they may get too much unrelated information, or should they be encouraging any help they can get? If your baby was missing would you just sit back and let the police search or would you check out anyplace you could think of on your own?

Ariel Courtland appeared calm and organized Friday night as she addressed a group of people who answered a Facebook appeal to help her look for her baby daughter — missing since Wednesday. Courtland said she spoke to the baby’s alleged abductor, Sean Michael Phillips who indicated to her about 5:15 p.m. Friday that the baby is still alive.
“He told me she is alive,” Courtland told the Daily News in the Subway parking lot on U.S. 10 late Friday night — across the street and not far from the last place Phillips was seen Wednesday, Wendy’s restaurant, before police found him and apprehended him at his parents’ Millerton Road property. Courtland said that she has been told by authorities not to look for the child, but she has grown tired of waiting.
“I’m doing what I need to do to find my kid,” she said.

Courtland told the group — which consisted of friends and other volunteers she didn’t know — to look anywhere Phillips could have gotten in the short time between when she saw him with Kate and when he was located at his parents’ house without her. Courtland said it was only about an hour and a half time period Wednesday afternoon.


Police in northern Michigan are asking people to stop their own searches for a missing baby.

Ludington Police say officers from several agencies are following up on tips and conducting a professional search for 4-month old Katherine Phillips.

Investigators say they understand people want to help, but some self-initiated searches have been a distraction. They say that is because people have reported material not connected to the investigation.


They ARE asking for volunteers for their own organized search.

Police are seeking volunteers to help search of the area of the Ludington Area Schools’ school forest and the Leviathan Disc Golf Course. The search is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. today. Investigators are asking volunteers to come to the parking lot of the disc golf course on the west side of Jebavy Drive. The search will progress west from that location and then systematically double back until that entire area has been covered.


culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

I don't know anything other then what the article says, but why would anyone question the police? Obvioulsy they have reasons for asking people not to help. They are professionals and for whatever reason they must think that the mother trying to conduct her own search is in some way hindering their progress. who knows, maybe the polie feel the mother has something to do with it.

Not knowing anything about this case, I will side with the police.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

Having had a cousin go missing I know how frustrating it can be waiting on the police to start their search. Granted, my cousin was a young adult and not a baby, but I don't feel that the police did everything they could to find her and my family did conduct our own search. We were the ones to find her car in the woods but unfortunately her body has never been found. My poor Aunt had to push the police throughout the entire thing in hopes of finding her remains and giving her a proper burial.

From my experience (which is limited, I admit) the police search a whole heck of a lot faster and with more focus if the individual missing is an attractive white child from a wealthy family.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I can see how an untrained searcher might not only hinder the cops in doing their job, but also possibly damage or destroy evidence that could have been used to prosecute someone. I've volunteered on two searches in the past, and both times there was a good hour or so of reading & listening to instructions about precisely how to do the search, what kinds of things to look for, what to do if you found something, etc. It's a balancing act between not wanting to follow false leads but preserving potential evidence. I'm sure it's hard to have to wait when you have a missing child, but sometimes things are better done in an orderly way than a rushed way.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I tend to agree with Lana, but also know that every fiber of my being would want to do something if I felt that not enough was being done.

And Tanya, what a horrible thing, I am so sorry:(

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

It truly was an awful time and I can't imagine how that would feel if it were my child missing. I would like to think that trusting the cops and not looking for my child was the right thing to do but based on what I've seen I'm not sure it always is.

mwilliamson006's picture
Joined: 09/10/08
Posts: 928

I agree with all of the opinions above. I understand as a parent, I would want more to be done, but the police to have reason's for trying to only organize one search. If too many people are involved it could be harder to do a more thorough search.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I don't know, I don't think I can really take a side as I wouldn't even know what to do with myself if one on my children were abducted. I've heard a lot of horror stories about police searches, like they make you wait 24 hours in some cases after the child goes missing before you can even file the report... but maybe that's for teens? I don't know. I'd like to think that the police have it all under control, but I know if it were me I would be begging everyone to help me find my baby...

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I think the police have reasons for what they ask and that they always do their best to find people who are lost, especially children. I would advise following their instructions and suggesting that people who want to help do so as part of the sanctioned search.

But lets keep in mind that my husband is RCMP and most of our family friends here in town have at least one RCMP members in them......so really the people I trust most would be out there looking and I know that our RCMP family would do anything to find one of their own especially, so I guess I am in a special situation that way. Even if it didnt happen at home I am fully confident that our staff Sargent and others up the chain of command would be involved in at least gathering information for us and keeping the search going. I have never actually thought of this before, but that is my gut answer.

Wow! There are a million disadvantages to this job, but I guess I just found an advantage (though I pray we will never have to use it).