Paislee Shultis: NY girl, 6, found under couples' staircase TWO years after abduction
SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK: A four-year-old girl who went missing in 2019 has been found alive by police. Paislee Shultis, now 6, was found hidden underneath a staircase in Saugerties about 45 miles south of Albany, on Monday night, February 14. The Saugerties Police Department that they found the girl after they received a tip about her whereabouts.
The girl was found after authorities searched a makeshift room under a staircase leading to the basement. Detective Erik Thiele said that they noticed a blanket after flashing light between the steps and subsequently rescued the girl. Paislee was reported missing from Cayuga Heights in July 2019. Authorities believe she was taken by her "non-custodial parents". Kimberly Cooper, Kirk Shultis, Jr and Kirk Shultis, Sr, have been arrested and charged with her disappearance.
Paislee was abducted by her parents after they lost custody of her back in 2019. She was abducted from the home of her legal guardian. She has now been removed from the care of her biological parents -- Kim Cooper and Kirk Cultis.
"Detectives used a halogen tool to remove several of the wooden steps, and that is when detectives saw a pair of tiny feet," police said in a statement. "After removing several more steps, the child and her abductor were discovered within. The space was small, cold, and wet." Paislee was found to be in good health. She has been returned to her legal guardian.
On previous occasions, police had followed leads and visited the residence where Paislee was ultimately found. Each time, however, the residents had "denied any knowledge of the little girl’s whereabouts". "During some of the follow-ups to the Fawn Road location, authorities were permitted limited access into the residence to look around for the child, by both Kirk Shultis Sr and Jr., both police to enter the home, knowing the child and her abductor were hidden within the house and would not be found.," police said.
Both the Shultis were charged with one count each of felony of custodial interference in the first degree and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. Cooper, 33, on the other hand, was charged with custodial interference in the second degree and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. She has now been remanded into custody for an outstanding warrant issued in Ulster County Family Court. Shultis Jr., 32, and Shultis Sr., 57, have been released on their own recognizance, police confirmed. Orders of protection were issued against all the defendants. Police said that the investigation into the incident is ongoing.