A six-year-old girl who has been missing for more than two years has been found hidden in a “dark and wet” makeshift room under a staircase in rural New York, US police said Wednesday.
Paislee Shultis was reported missing in 2019 when officers at the time suspected her biological parents, Kimberly and Kirk, of kidnapping her after losing custody.
After a tip that the girl was being held at a “secret location” more than 150 miles from where she first disappeared, police were issued a search warrant for a house in the town of Spencer, New York.
“Just over an hour after the home was searched, the child was hidden in a makeshift room, under a closed staircase leading to the basement of the home,” a police statement said.
“When they removed the step boards, the child and her kidnapper, Kimberly Cooper Shultis, were found hiding in the dark and wet room,” it added.
The officers said they were stunned at how the girl’s kidnappers had been able to hide her for so long.
“We had been in the house nearly a dozen times over a two-year period following directions,” Police Chief Joseph Sinagra told DailyExpertNews.
“They lied to us for two years, including the father, claiming he had no idea where his daughter was.”
The girl is in good health and there is no evidence of abuse, said local outlet CBS2, which reported asking police to buy her a McDonald’s Happy Meal after she was rescued.
Her parents have now been charged with endangering a child and interfering with custody. The child’s grandfather, whose house was used to hide her, was also charged.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)