Little Paislee Shultis, 6, was in good health when police discovered her in the secret room under a staircase. But apparently she was really hungry…
Fearful of losing her to the authorities, the parents kidnapped the little girl and then kept her in hiding for two years. The case from the 20,000-inhabitant city of Saugerties (state of New York) causes horror in the USA.
The drama began in the summer of 2019 when Kim Cooper and Kirk Shultis lost custody of their two daughters, Paislee and her older sister. The authorities have not yet announced the reasons for this. But the parents knew her very well and had to fear that the child would be taken away.
On the day the authorities wanted to take the two children into their care, Cooper and Shultis went underground with Paislee – and fled from Cayuga Heights to Saugerties, 210 kilometers away. While the older daughter was still at school at the time of the kidnapping, they took Paislee away – and made her disappear. In a self-made hiding place under the stairs in her new house. for years.
It was only now that she was found – although there had always been hints from eyewitnesses. With a new search warrant, the cops finally managed to locate Paislee. An attentive policeman had discovered a discrepancy on the stairs – finally the search for Paislee was successful!
A photo taken shortly after they were rescued shows the miserable condition of the shelter: behind a folded-up step, the little ones’ clothes, a blanket and a pillow with a koala motif lie in an incredibly small space. A single child’s rubber boot in front of the stairs. Apparently Paislee had to crawl into her cramped and dirty hiding place whenever there was a risk of being discovered.
As the police announced after the find, there had already been several operations in the house. Paislee’s father Kirk granted the officers access – apparently in the certainty that the police officers would not find the little one or her mother anyway. He told police her mother ran off to Pennsylvania with Paislee. As a result, all traces of the case fizzled out.
Until Monday: During another operation, detective Erik Thiele dug out the hiding place: not only little Paislee was crouching under the stairs, her mother had also squeezed into the hole. The police said: “The room was small, it was cold and wet there.”
As the TV station CBS reported, Paislee was immediately freed and taken to a police station. When she saw a McDonald’s restaurant from the police car on the way there, she asked the police officers to stop there. The cops turned around and reportedly bought the hungry girl a Happy Meal.
Reunion with her big sister
But the best moment after her liberation was yet to come: After a thorough medical examination – the doctors confirmed that the little girl was in good health – Paislee was allowed to see her big sister again, from whom she had been separated more than two years ago. Paislee is now back in the care of her legal guardian.
Now the little girl has a lot of catching up to do. Police Chief Joseph Sinagra said: “We are fairly certain that she did not have access to good medical care. Of course, her parents couldn’t just take her to a doctor because she was missing. Also, the concern is that she cannot read or write because she has not had the opportunity to go to school. That will now be made up for.”
Paislee’s parents are now charged with deprivation of liberty and endangering the child’s welfare. Kim Cooper remains in custody while both Paislee’s father and grandfather have been conditionally released.