In 2019, four-year-old Paislee Shultis was reported missing from Cayuga Heights in Tompkins County. At the time, the child was believed to have been abducted by her non-custodial parents, Kimberly Cooper and Kirk Shultis, Jr.
On February 14, receiving information that the child was being held within a hidden location at a residence at 35 Fawn Road, Saugerties police obtained a warrant from the Saugerties justice court authorizing the search of the residence for the child.
At 8:06 p.m. the Saugerties police, with assistance from the New York State Police BCI and uniform troopers, executed the search on the residence. The owner of the residence denied any knowledge of the child’s whereabouts, telling officers that he had not seen her since she was reported missing in 2019.
A little over an hour into the search, the child was located secreted in a makeshift room under a closed staircase leading to the basement. Upon removing the step boards, the child and her abductor, Kimberly Cooper, were found hiding in the dark and wet enclosure.
The child was transported to police headquarters, where she was met by paramedics from Diaz Ambulance, examined, and released in good health.
Saugerties Police arrested 33-year-old Kimberly Cooper on the charge of custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child. Cooper was also wanted on an active warrant of arrest that had been issued through Ulster County Family Court. Cooper was arraigned in the town justice court and remanded to the county jail on the warrant.
Kirk Shultis Jr., 32 years old, was charged with the felony of custodial interference and the misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child.
Kirk Shultis, Sr., 57 years old, was charged with the same felony and misdemeanor.