Police: Girl missing since 2019 found with abductor in home’s secret room

Police say they received information that the child was being held at 35 Fawn Road in Saugerties and obtained a warrant to check out the home on Feb. 14.

News 12 Staff

Feb 15, 2022, 6:56 PM

Updated 879 days ago


Police located a young girl in Saugerties, NY who had been missing since 2019, authorities say.
Paislee Shultis should have been celebrating her birthday Monday, but instead she was found by police - allegedly being held captive by her abductors in a small, wet space beneath floorboards at a home in Ulster County.
She went missing from upstate New York two years ago when she was 4 years old.
Saugerties police say she was found alive and unhurt at 35 Fawn Road Monday with her non-custodial parents and paternal grandfather.
News 12 saw two men at the home on Tuesday moving a truck and equipment toward the front of the driveway.
Detectives found Paislee on a search warrant after getting several tips that the girl was there.
Police say at first glance there was no sign of her until they noticed something wrong with some floorboards in a makeshift basement stairwell and saw the girl's blanket and feet.
Neighbors say at least one older child lives there but that no kids were ever seen outside.
Police say the girl's mother, Kimberly Cooper, was found hiding with Paislee.
Cooper and the girl's father, Kirk Shultis Jr., as well as paternal grandfather Kirk Shultis Sr., are charged with custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child.
Sources tell News 12 Kirk Shultis Jr. was arrested in North Carolina for possession of methamphetamines in 2019, months before Paislee went missing.
From the Saugerties PD:
At the time of search warrant execution, the owner of the residence denied having any knowledge of the child’s whereabouts telling officers that he had not seen the child since she was reported missing in 2019.  A little over an hour into the search of the residence, the child was located secreted in a makeshift room, under a closed staircase leading to the basement of the residence. Upon removing the step boards, the child and her abductor, Kimberly Cooper were found hiding in the dark and wet enclosure.
The child was transported to police headquarters where she was examined by paramedics and released in good health. She has since been turned over to a legal guardian and reunited with her older sister.
Kimberly Cooper, 33, was charged with custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child. She also had an active warrant issued through the Ulster County Family Court and was remanded to Ulster County Jail.
Kirk Shultis Jr., 32, and Kirk Shultis Sr., 57, were charged with the felony of custodial interference in the first degree and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. They were arraigned and released on their own recognizance.
Stay-away orders were issued for each defendant.
Credit: Saugerties Police Department
Credit: Saugerties Police Department
Credit: Saugerties Police Department

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