LUDINGTON, Mich. (WOOD) - Botanists from Michigan State University, the Chicago Field Museum and a team of trained volunteers searched the woods surrounding Ludington for clues into the disappearance of Baby Kate on Friday.
Volunteers were searching for 11 specific species of plants on the two-year anniversary of the disappearance of 4-month-old Katherine Philips.
The hope was that by searching at the exact time of year that Baby Kate went missing, the plants they were looking for would be in the same state of development.
Chief Deputy Bob Brown with the Mason County Sheriff's Office said the plants are important because authorities are trying to identify the material that was found on the clothing and boots of Baby Kate's father when she went missing.
Sean Phillips, Baby Kate's father, is currently in prison on a 10-year sentence after being convicted of the unlawful imprisonment of his daughter. Police have called him a suspect in her homicide but they have never found her body.
Once volunteers have gathered their samples, they will be reviewed in a lab.
Officials hope that information will help them narrow future search areas but warned that could take a while.
The search for the plants will continue Saturday.
Police are looking for the suspect in an armed robbery that occurred at a gas station in Plainwell Thursday night.
The rink will be open that day from 3-9 p.m.
Bethany Murk, 48, was arrested Thursday following a drug bust in Van Buren County.