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Parents, Grandfather Of Paislee Shultis Appear In Court After She’s Found Alive, Hidden Beneath Basement Stairs



SAUGERTIES, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – There’s an update on the case of the girl found safe after being missing for more than two years.

Paislee Shultis was 4 when she disappeared from Cayuga Heights in 2019 after her parents lost custody.

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She was located Monday night, hiding in a secret space inside her grandfather’s home in Saugerties in Ulster County.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports, Paislee’s father, mother and grandfather made brief court appearances late Wednesday afternoon.

Kimberly Cooper was brought into the municipal building after making bail. She said nothing on the way in, and was surrounded by a crush of cameras.


Kirk Shultis Jr. and Sr. said nothing on their way in or out.

Police say the men hid the fact that Paislee and her mom where living in Kirk Shultis, Sr.’s home for two years, pretending that the mom and daughter were missing and they had no idea where she might be.

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Saugerties cops made repeated visits to the Shultis home, even looking around inside, but always leaving empty-handed until a tip gave them probably cause to get a warrant. During a search Monday night, a sharp-eyed cop noticed something wrong with the basement stairs, and they found Paislee hiding with her mom Kimberly Cooper.

Police believe the girl had been living in the home, not attending school, for two years – and hiding in that secret space whenever police arrived.

The parents temporarily lost custody in 2019, and the local police chief says it’s a shame they didn’t work within the system to fix the problems in their home.

“We’re not here to hurt them. If they had complied with that court order two years ago, depending on what the deficiency was within the household that caused a judge to remove those children, there’s a good possibility that they could’ve take corrective action, and today they would have full custody of those kids,” said Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra. “Now, I don’t know again what that deficiency was, so that may or may not be the case. I am hoping that some time in future that the family has learned from this, and that with proper services put in place by county social services, by the Ulster County Family Child Advocacy Center, and by CPS, that eventually the family will gain the right to actually get the custody of the kids, which is ultimately what we’re looking for.”


The mother, father and grandfather all face charges of interfering with custodial rights and endangering the welfare of the child.

Paislee, now 6, is said to be in good health and good spirits. Police don’t believe she was mistreated in any way nor was she abused, but she wasn’t going to school. She can’t read or write, and is now in the custody of a guardian with close supervision from Ulster County social services.

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Detectives have been in touch with Paislee. They went to McDonald’s together after she was rescued.

Source: CBS


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