CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace says there is a reason that a New York child missing since 2019 was taken from her non-custodial biological parents, and that it’s a miracle the child was found alive and healthy.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 6-year-old Paislee Shultis was reported missing from Cayuga Heights in July 2019. She was four at the time. Investigators suspected that Paislee’s biological parents, who didn’t have custody, took her but at the time, they declined to file charges.
After receiving a tip that someone was hiding Paislee in the Hudson Valley area, New York State police found the child and her parents at a home in Saugerties, off of Fawn Road. The residence reportedly belongs to Paisliee’s grandfather, Kirk D. Shultis, Sr.
Paislee’s biological father, Kirk D. Shultis, Jr., reportedly denied knowing Paislee’s whereabouts. His father, 57-year-old Kirk Shultis Sr., also allegedly told police the child wasn’t in the home.
A detective helped search inside the home, and when he shined a flashlight at an odd-looking place in the staircase, he noticed a blanket. Police removed a few steps in the area and located Paislee and her biological mother, 33-year-old Kimberly Cooper, in a “small, cold and wet” space.
“How many times have I begged the courts to take a child away from the parents, and the child ends up dead because they’re back in the home,” Grace said during a Fox News interview Wednesday morning. “In this case, Paisley was taken away from her bio parents for a reason…This child has not been to a school or to a doctor in nearly three years.”
One of the officers who took the child back to her legal guardians stopped by a McDonald’s restaurant and bought Paislee a Happy Meal. It’s something Grace says is “a miracle” since most endings in these types of situations are usually not positive ones.
“They do not have a fairy tale ending. Usually, the child ends up dead…I was so overjoyed because this practically never happens.”
Police Chief Joseph Sinagra said Paislee didn’t make any noises as they searched the residence for hours on Monday. Police also said Cooper had a warrant out for her arrest in Ulster County Family Court and doesn’t have custodial rights to the child.
Cooper, along with Shultis and his father, was arrested and charged with felony custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child. Cooper remains behind bars on a separate warrant while the other two suspects have since been released.
Paislee is in good health and is now back with her older sister and legal guardian. It’s unclear why the child’s parents were stripped of custody.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photos via Saugerties police]