Little Paislee Shultis was last seen more than two years ago and her whereabouts were no longer known. Up to now.
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The 6-year-old girl was found alive. in a secret space under a staircaseat a house in the city of Saugerties, in the state of New York, police said.
She was in good health and was handed over to her legal guardian, where she is now with her older sister.
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His parents had lost custody of him, but decided remove her from her new home and keep her hidden. They are now accused of interfering with her legal custody and endangering the welfare of the minor.
an unexpected find
Paislee was reported missing from Tioga County, New York, in July 2019, when she was 4 years old.
Authorities at the time believed she had been kidnapped by her parents, Kimberly Cooper, 33, and Kirk Shultis Jr., 32.
After receiving information that Paislee was being held in a hidden location in the city of Saugerties, police obtained a warrant to search a house.
The property was intervened by the authorities on multiple occasions, without finding anything.
The girl’s grandfather, Kirk Shultis Sr., owns the home and was there when police conducted the searches. He claimed that he had no knowledge of Paislee’s whereabouts.
But at the last interview on Monday, one of the detectives, Erik Thiele, noticed that the stairs leading to the basement of the house looked strange.
He shined his flashlight through a crack in the wooden steps and noticed there was a blanket. She decided to remove several steps and a pair of small feet was seen.
After removing several boards from the stairs, officers found Paislee and her mother hiding in what police described as a “small, cold and wet” space.
Paislee was examined by paramedics and they determined that she is in good health.
As the girl’s biological parents, Cooper and Kirk Shultis Jr. had lost custody of her and her older sister prior to the girl’s disappearance.
Police believe that was the motive for Paislee’s abduction.
“We believe that someone informed the parents that the legal guardian and county officials had picked up the older girl at that time and thathad the parents take Paislee and run awaySaugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra told WNYT.
The girl’s parents and grandfather were arrested and charged in Paislee’s disappearance.
The two men were released, awaiting trial. Mrs. Cooper, on the other hand, had an outstanding warrant for her arrest and was booked into the Ulster County Jail.
An investigation is ongoing and more arrests are pending, police said.
Most missing children in the US are found safely after a relatively short period of time, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
But the institution warns that, in cases of family abductionchildren tend to be missing for a longer period, on average more than 10 months.
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