August 9. 2022. 4:24

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Girl (6) who went missing two years ago is found hidden under staircase

A missing girl has been found alive and in good health in a makeshift room underneath a staircase in a house in New York state, according to local police. File photograph: Getty Images


Two years after she went missing, a six-year-old girl has been found alive and in good health in a makeshift room underneath a staircase in a house in New York state, according to local police.

The police added that they suspected she was abducted by her biological, non-custodial parents.

Officers found the girl, Paislee Shultis, on Monday in a house in the town of Saugerties, two years after she went missing from Spencer, New York, about 290km to the west, the Saugerties police department said in a statement on Tuesday.

At the time, police believed her biological parents, Kimberly Cooper (33) and Kirk Shultis jnr (32), had abducted her, the police said. The couple did not have custody of the girl, they added.

Police said they received a tip about the girl’s whereabouts and obtained a search warrant. They said that on Monday they went to the girl’s grandfather’s house where they searched for about an hour before locating the child hidden in a makeshift room, under a closed staircase leading to the basement.

Upon removing the step boards of the staircase, the girl and Kimberly Cooper were found hiding in the dark and wet enclosure, police said.

Paislee was taken to police headquarters where paramedics examined her, police told the Daily Freeman, the community’s local newspaper. The girl was in good health and released to her legal guardian.

Police arrested her biological parents and the girl’s grandfather Kirk Shultis (57). They face charges of custodial interference and endangering the welfare of a child.

Police said they had interviewed Kirk Shultis jnr several times since the girl went missing. He maintained that he had no knowledge of her location and told officers that he had not seen the child. – Reuters

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