Abducted Toddler Paislee Shultis Discovered Hidden Under Staircase
The young girl was abducted in 2019 and discovered two years later at her paternal grandfather’s home
On July 13, 2019, in Cayuga Heights, a small community located on the outskirts of Ithaca, New York, a custody battle turned heated.
At the center were four-year-old Paislee Shultis and her older sister, who was already school-age. The older sister was picked up from school by her maternal grandmother and aided by a social worker and police escort. They headed over to the biological parent’s home to get Paislee, but when they arrived, the house was empty.
The parents, Kimberly Cooper and Kirk D. Shultis Jr. had long since been the believed abductors of Paislee, and several properties were searched, but no sign of the child was found. They lost custody when a babysitter came forward with concerns about the children’s well-being in the home. Kirk Shultis was later arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamines and heroin.
Prior to the abduction, Cooper and Shultis had already lost two daughters in infancy before Paislee’s birth. However, their causes of death are unknown, though it is speculated that this also contributed to them losing custody.
The babysitter also alleged that the girls were often taken with their parents to dangerous job sites, where they worked for Shultis Paving. If they couldn’t afford child care, they just brought the girls with them, oftentimes as late as midnight and without supervision.
She also alleged that both parents used illicit substances while caring for the girls, on the job, operating machinery, and driving.
Law enforcement repeatedly questioned Shultis Jr and his father, and both had been adamant that they didn’t know where Kimberly was and believed she had taken Paislee to Philadelphia.
Officers had been allowed voluntary entry to the home nearly two dozen times, but they weren’t allowed access to search the basement or bedrooms.