UGERTIES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Paislee Shultis was just 4 when she was was reported missing in 2019 from Spencer in Tioga County. At the time, it was believed by police that the little girl had been abducted by her non-custodial parents, Kimberly Cooper and Kirk Shultis.
After receiving a tip that the child could be held in a hidden location at 35 Town Road in the town of Saugerties, police obtained a search warrant for the home. Just after 8 p.m. on Feb. 14, Saugerties Police officers, detectives, members of the New York State BCI and state troopers entered and searched the residence for the child.
When they entered, the homeowner denied having seen the girl since she went missing in 2019.
A little over an hour into their search, police located the child inside a small makeshift room underneath a closed staircase. When they removed the step boards, police say they found both the girl and her abductor, Kimberly Cooper, hiding in the dark and wet room.
The child was transported to the Saugerties Police Department’s headquarters where she was met by paramedics and soon after released in good health.
As a result of this investigation, Saugerties Police have arrested the following individuals:
Kimberly Cooper, 33, has been charged with second-degree custodial interference and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Cooper was also wanted on a warrant from the Ulster County Family Court. She has been placed in Ulster County Jail on the warrant.
Kirk Shultis Jr., 32, will face charges of first-degree custodial interference and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Kirk Shultis Sr., 57, was charged with first-degree custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child.
Both Shultis Jr. and Sr. were arraigned and released on their own recognizance. Orders of protection have been issued against all three defendants.
This is an ongoing investigation and additional arrests are still pending.
Editor’s note: Police initially said the child originally went missing from Cayuga Heights. The story has been updated to reflect new information from the Department of Criminal Justice Services.