Police who found abducted 6-year-old sealed under a staircase say they went to the house 'almost a dozen times' before but missed her
Paislee Shultis, 6, who went missing in 2019, was found in a stairwell at her grandfather's home.
- Police said they were at the
New Yorkproperty nearly a dozen times in the past two years.
Police said they went to an upstate New York house almost a dozen times over two years before finally finding a six-year-old alive under the stairs, CNN reported.
Officers now believe that her father and grandfather had kept her under the stairs when they visited.
Paislee Shultis, who was reported missing in 2019, was found alive in a secret room under a wooden staircase of her grandfather's home in Saugerties, New York, on Tuesday.
Police allege that Shultis was kidnapped by her biological parents, Kimberly Cooper and Kirk Shultis Jr., after they lost custody of her two years ago. It is not immediately clear why they lost custody.
Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra told CNN that officers suspected the family was keeping Shultis in her grandfather's home but were never able to execute a search warrant until a critical tip-off this week.
"We'd been at the home ... almost a dozen times over a two-year period to follow up on leads," Sinagra told CNN.
Shultis' biological father and grandfather repeatedly told the police they didn't know where the girl was, and claimed her mother had taken her and fled to Philadelphia, Sinagra said.
Her father and grandfather only gave police only limited access to the house and did not allow them into the bedrooms or basement area, the police chief told CNN.
The men also told police that a child's bedroom in the house was there in case she ever returned.
"Our belief is that at times when we went into the residence, although we were given limited access, they were using [the staircase] to hide the child," Sinagra told The Daily Freeman
During an almost four-hour search on Tuesday, officers found the six-year-old after seeing "small feet" while ripping off the staircase, he said.
The girl's father and grandfather were charged with one count each of felony custodial interference in the first degree and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child, NBC News reported.
Her mother was charged with custodial interference in the second degree and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child, per NBC.
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