Mom who 'kidnapped daughter and hid her under stairs for over two years' smirks in picture

Parents of 6-year-old Paisley Shultis appear in court on charges of detention and endangering

Paisley Shultis was abducted at the age of four in 2019.  Now she is six.

Paisley Shultis was abducted at the age of four in 2019. Now she is six.

The parents and grandfather of a 6-year-old New York girl found alive under the stairs of her parents’ home after a two-year absence appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday.

Kimberly Cooper, 33, and Kirk Schultis Jr., 32, were arrested Monday night after police found Paisley Schultis, 6, in a dark, damp room under the stairs at Saugerty’s home. They kept her isolated from society for more than two years.

Shultis Jr., his father, Kirk Shultis Sr. and Cooper appeared in court on Wednesday. Shultis’ men declined to answer questions.

The father and son were charged with one count of felony of first-degree imprisonment and misdemeanor in which a child is endangered. They are due to appear in court again on April 27.

Cooper also refused to answer questions and covered her face with a sweatshirt. She was charged with second-degree interference with custody and misdemeanor endangering the well-being of a child, although prosecutor Lauren Swan said she was “under investigation with the possibility of additional charges.”

The next court session was scheduled for March 2.

Paisley, 4, was reported missing in July 2019 after she was taken from her legal guardian’s home in Cayuga Heights, located about 162 miles from where she was found on Tuesday. It is not clear why her parents lost custody of their daughter.

Kirk D. Shultis Jr. and Kimberley Cooper leave court after being charged with interfering with custody and endangering the welfare of the child of 6-year-old Paisley Shultis, who was found by police in a makeshift room under the stairs.

Kirk D. Shultis Jr. and Kimberley Cooper leave court after being charged with interfering with custody and endangering the welfare of the child of 6-year-old Paisley Shultis, who was found by police in a makeshift room under the stairs.

Enter Kirk D. Shultis Sr. (left), father of Kirk D. Shultis Jr.  He is also accused of kidnapping

Enter Kirk D. Shultis Sr. (left), father of Kirk D. Shultis Jr. He is also accused of kidnapping

Schulti's men arrived, refusing to speak to reporters.

Schulti’s men arrived, refusing to speak to reporters.

The police released photos of her alleged abductors, her parents not in custody.  33-year-old Kimberly Cooper (left) smirks

The police released photos of her alleged abductors, her parents not in custody. Kimberly Cooper, 33, (pictured) appears to be smirking despite being charged with second-degree interference with custody and misdemeanor endangering a child’s well-being.

Kirk Schultis Jr. (pictured) was charged with one count of felony of first-degree imprisonment and misdemeanor endangering the well-being of a child.

Kirk Schultis Jr. (pictured) was charged with one count of felony of first-degree imprisonment and misdemeanor endangering the well-being of a child.

This is the makeshift room under the stairs where Paisley Schulties was found living at her paternal grandfather's house on Monday night.

This is the makeshift room under the stairs where Paisley Schulties was found living at her paternal grandfather’s house on Monday night.

The police turned on the lights above the stairs and were able to see the dirty blanket from behind the stairs.

The police turned on the lights above the stairs and were able to see the dirty blanket from behind the stairs.

The police had long suspected Cooper and Schultis of kidnapping the girl and believed that she was being held in the Saugerty house, owned by her grandfather, Kirk Schultis Sr.

The police searched the property many times but found nothing. Residents have repeatedly “denied any knowledge of the little girl’s whereabouts.”

However, this week there was a report that the girl was being held in the house, resulting in officers obtaining a warrant to search the property.

During a search, Detective Saugertys Eric Thiele “noted something in the stairs leading from the back of the residence to the basement of the house that caught his attention.”

“He took a flashlight and looked into the cracks between the steps,” Sinagra told the TV channel.

“He saw what he thought was a blanket, and at that point they used a halogen tool, a forced penetration tool, and they started tearing the steps away from the stairs themselves. At some point, they saw little legs, as he put it.

The property belongs to Paisley's grandfather, Kirk Shultis Sr., who was also arrested and charged with one count of felony of first-degree imprisonment and misdemeanor endangering the well-being of a child.

The property belongs to Paisley’s grandfather, Kirk Shultis Sr., who was also arrested and charged with one count of felony of first-degree imprisonment and misdemeanor endangering the well-being of a child.

This is the family home in Saugerties, New York, where the family lived.  Police said the girl had her own bedroom in the house.

This is the family home in Saugerties, New York, where the family lived. Police said the girl had her own bedroom in the house.

On the site where the girl lived secretly for three years, there is a children's playground.

On the site where the girl lived secretly for three years, there is a children’s playground.

Soon after, Paisley and her mother were found hiding in a makeshift room.

“It was pretty messy. It was cold. The blankets lay on the ground, on the concrete floor. They were completely wet and very heavy,” Sinagra recalled.

“Now we believe that every time in the last two years, when we came to the residence with new leads, this is where the child and mother will hide.”

Kirk Shultis Jr. is pictured at home on Tuesday after being released from jail on bail.  He said

Kirk Shultis Jr. is pictured at home on Tuesday after being released from jail on bail. He said “The truth will come out” but didn’t comment further.

The house in Saugerties, New York, where the girl was found on Monday evening after an anonymous report.

The house in Saugerties, New York, where the girl was found on Monday evening after an anonymous report.

Schultis family home in Saugerties, New York.  The family did not comment publicly.

Schultis family home in Saugerties, New York. The family did not comment publicly.

Meanwhile, the neighbors are stunned that the missing girl has been in the house all this time.

“I’m just shocked because they seemed like normal people,” said Annette Wrolsen.

Although the neighbors never saw the girl outside the house, preliminary investigation showed that she had her own bedroom.

“Paisley was written on the wall,” Sinagra shared. “There were items of clothing. It turned out that someone slept in the bed, and someone used the bedroom.

“And, of course, my father and grandfather said: “No, they arranged this room in such a way that if Paisley was ever found, she would have somewhere to return to.”

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