Got A Tip?

Star Seeker

Viral: News

Girl Found In Secret 'Dark & Wet' Room Under Stairs 2 Years After Going Missing

Mugshots of Kirk Shultis Jr. and Kimberly Cooper

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

A 6-year-old girl who had been missing for two years has been found alive — in a secret room hidden under a staircase in the home of her abductors.

According to reports, Paislee Shultis was reported missing on July 13, 2019, from Cayuga Heights, New York, when she was 4 years old. Initially, investigators believed the young girl was abducted by her non-custodial parents, Kimberly Cooper, 33 (above, right), and Kirk Shultis Jr., 32 (above, left), after the pair lost custody of her that year — and it turns out, they were right.

Thanks to a series of tips, cops eventually searched a Saugerties home and met with the residents, which included Shultis Jr. and his 57-year-old father, Kirk Shultis Sr.. A little over an hour into the sweep, one sharp-eyed detective noticed something off about the home’s staircase and steps.

Related: Man Arrested For ‘Gruesome’ Murder Of Woman Who Was Found Hanging From A Tree

Using a flashlight, he saw a piece of a blanket poking through the cracks. Police explained in a statement:

“Detectives used a tool to remove several of the wooden steps, and that is when detectives saw a pair of tiny feet… Upon removing the step boards, the child and her abductor, Kimberly Cooper were found hiding in the dark and wet enclosure.”


Detectives noted that Paislee and her mother were found in “a makeshift room, under a closed staircase leading to the basement of the residence.” See it for yourself (below).

hidden room under stairs
(c) Saugerties Police Dept.

Cooper, Shultis, and his father were all arrested and charged with felony custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child. As for why it took so long for police to locate the girl, the department explained:

“Since the disappearance of Paislee in 2019, Saugerties Police and other police agencies have investigated numerous leads relative to Paislee’s disappearance. Several of those leads led police to the house on Fawn Road. Unfortunately, on each occasion the residents denied any knowledge of the little girl’s whereabouts.”

Police said Shultis Jr. told detectives that Cooper had fled to Pennsylvania and had not seen the 6-year-old since 2019. Both Shultis Jr. and Sr. were arraigned and released on their own recognizance, while Cooper is being held in Ulster County Jail.

Paislee was brought to the Saugerties Police Department’s headquarters, where she was evaluated by paramedics. Per the Daily Freeman, Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra said Paislee was “well taken care of and in good health,” but noted:

“The only problem is she hasn’t attended school, and they weren’t educating her at the house.”

It is unclear why they lost custody in the first place. Fortunately, the young girl has since been turned over to her legal guardian. Thank goodness she’s safe and sound!

[Image via Saugerties Police Dept.]

Related Posts

Feb 15, 2022 17:40pm PDT