9-Year-Old New York Girl, Reported Missing from State Park, Found Alive

Charlotte Sena, a 9-year-old girl who went missing while riding her bike in Moreau Lake State Park on Saturday evening, was discovered alive on Monday night, according to New York state police. A suspect in her disappearance has been apprehended, according to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference.

“Charlotte Sena has been located and is in good health,” stated the New York State Police in a statement released Monday.

The state officials also stated that a suspect is in custody and that the investigation is still ongoing.

Hochul congratulated police and detectives on X (previously known as Twitter) after Sena was found for their efforts and the resolution.

“After a 48-hour-long search, Charlotte Sena has been found. Extremely grateful to @nyspolice, @NYStateParks police, and all of our partners who worked tirelessly to locate Charlotte and ensure she could return home safely to her family,” Hochul wrote.

Hochul subsequently informed that Charlotte’s parents had received a ransom letter. The message contained fingerprints, which authorities used to track down a suspect, according to the governor. Huchul did not explain why the suspect’s fingerprints were in a law enforcement database.

Police examined residences related to the suspect when they were identified. Charlotte was discovered around 6:32 p.m. ET. According to the governor, investigators also examined mobile phone pings from people who were in the vicinity where Charlotte was last seen.

It was remarkable to see how they tracked it down to an individual’s home, Hochul said to Cooper. Law enforcement and helicopters surrounded the house, and they were able to bring her to safety. And not long after that, she was in the hospital with her parents.

Hochul stated at a news conference later Monday that Charlotte was recovered at the suspect’s campsite. She was discovered in a cabinet. The governor named the suspect as Craig Nelson Ross Jr., 47, who was being questioned at the time of the news conference. She went on to say that Charlotte was rushed to the hospital and that her family did not want to reveal any other information at this time.

In a news conference on Sunday, Hochul verified the nine-year-old’s abduction from Moreau Lake State Park, roughly 45 miles north of Albany.

“[Charlotte] did a couple of loops with close friends she considers her cousins, and then she decided, after going around Loop A, she wanted to go around one more time by herself. Be that big girl; do it by herself,” Hochul said.

However, after 15 minutes, Hochul reported that Charlotte was nowhere to be located. Her bike was discovered, although it is unknown who discovered it.

The Sena family and other campers then joined the hunt for Charlotte by shouting her name. Hochul stated that Charlotte’s mother, Tricia, dialed 911 and that New York State Police arrived 15 minutes later, with “over 100 personnel deployed and 75 law enforcement on the ground” engaging in the search.

The search team included NYSP K-9s and bloodhounds, Moreau Lake State Park forest rangers, six underwater rescue teams, two drones, an airboat, a Sonar boat, and technological specialists. Athorities believed Charlotte had been taken before she was discovered.

Following the release of the missing kid report on Saturday evening, Lt. Colonial Mazzone stated during the press conference that an AMBER alert for “child abduction” was issued on Sunday morning.

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