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16th Feb 2022

Missing girl found alive after two years hidden inside staircase

Kieran Galpin

The missing girl was found 162 miles from her former home

A young girl who was missing for two years has finally been found in a secret room beneath a staircase.

Paislee Shultis was allegedly kidnapped by her biological parents, Kim Cooper and Kirk Cultis, following their loss of custody in 2019. According to reports from the Mail Online, the reason for the pair losing custody of their child is not publicly known.

Police believe that Shultis was kept in the hidden room of her paternal grandfather who lives in Saugerties in upstate New York, 162 miles from her guardian’s home.


A tip from an undisclosed source led police to investigate the residence on February 14 where an officer spotted a blanket through a crack while using his flashlight, reports Sky News.

A New York State Police officer spotted the girl’s “tiny feet” in the “cold and wet” room.

Police said: “Detectives used a tool to remove several of the wooden steps, and that is when detectives saw a pair of tiny feet.

“After removing several more steps, the child and her abductor were discovered within.”


The child and a 33-year-old woman were found in the room.

She appeared to be in good health and the woman was subsequently arrested and charged with custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child. Both Cultis and his father were also arrested and charged with felony custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child but were released on bond on February 15.

Cooper is still being held in Ulster County Jail for an undisclosed count from the family court.

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