Girl, 9, is found alive after being kidnapped and held for ransom

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By Asiya Ali

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A nine-year-old girl who was abducted after going missing on a camping trip in upstate New York has been found alive, and an arrest has been made in connection with her kidnapping.

Charlotte Sena disappeared after going on a solo bike ride around Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County on Saturday (September 30) evening, where she was staying with family and friends.

She was reported missing by her distraught parents after her bike was found abandoned in the campsite - with no sign of Charlotte nearby - at 6:45PM. Fifteen minutes later, police officers arrived on site.

The young girl was described as a white female with long blonde hair standing approximately 5'1 and weighing about 90 pounds. She was last seen wearing an orange tie-dyed Pokemon shirt, dark blue trousers, black Crocs, and a grey bike helmet.

"Last evening, she went out on a bike ride; it wasn't dark, right around dinnertime, and did a couple of loops with close friends she considers her cousins," New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a Sunday (October 1) afternoon news conference, per The Independent.

"And then she decided after going around True Bay, she said she just wanted to go around one more time by herself - be that big girl, do it by herself," Hochul continued. "Literally 15 minutes later, she hadn't come back yet...And that's really when the nightmare begins."

Multi-agency search and rescue teams -  including aviation, canine, and civilian support -  were deployed, and an Amber alert was set off as search efforts were carried out throughout the morning and night.

"In addition to our massive search efforts, our Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been conducting interviews with those in the park and around the region as well as pursuing all investigative leads,"  Lt Col Richard Mazzone of the NYSP shared.

On Monday night (October 2) - almost 48 hours after her sudden disappearance  - New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that Charlotte had been found safe, and a suspect named Craig Nelson Ross Jr., 47, was in custody.

At a press conference, the governor revealed that the little girl's alleged abductor left a ransom note in the mailbox of her family home. This letter ultimately led investigators to Ross's campervan around the back of his mother's house where she was discovered hidden inside a cabinet.

"His fingerprint was already in the database," Hochul told CNN host Anderson Cooper, as cited by The New York Post. "The home was surrounded by law enforcement and helicopters, they were able to bring her to safety, and not long after she was in the arms of her parents at a hospital."

The governor noted that the child was in "good health," and "appeared to be outwardly physically unharmed at the time," adding that it was clearly a "traumatic" event for her and her family.

It has not been determined if the suspect was known to the family or if he targeted or surveilled Charlotte.

Hochul praised the "tireless" efforts of authorities on Monday evening. "We are overjoyed at the news that Charlotte Sena has been located safely this evening after an intense days-long search," she said in a statement. "Our hearts are with her family as they welcome her home."

Law enforcement declared that the success was a "culmination of multiple agencies working together for the common goal of bringing this child home to her loving family".

"We cannot emphasize enough how appreciative we are for the support we received from Charlotte’s community, friends, and family," they added.

No charges have been brought against Ross Jr - but the governor said that "they are fully expected".

Featured image credit: Rbkomar / Getty

Girl, 9, is found alive after being kidnapped and held for ransom

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A nine-year-old girl who was abducted after going missing on a camping trip in upstate New York has been found alive, and an arrest has been made in connection with her kidnapping.

Charlotte Sena disappeared after going on a solo bike ride around Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County on Saturday (September 30) evening, where she was staying with family and friends.

She was reported missing by her distraught parents after her bike was found abandoned in the campsite - with no sign of Charlotte nearby - at 6:45PM. Fifteen minutes later, police officers arrived on site.

The young girl was described as a white female with long blonde hair standing approximately 5'1 and weighing about 90 pounds. She was last seen wearing an orange tie-dyed Pokemon shirt, dark blue trousers, black Crocs, and a grey bike helmet.

"Last evening, she went out on a bike ride; it wasn't dark, right around dinnertime, and did a couple of loops with close friends she considers her cousins," New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a Sunday (October 1) afternoon news conference, per The Independent.

"And then she decided after going around True Bay, she said she just wanted to go around one more time by herself - be that big girl, do it by herself," Hochul continued. "Literally 15 minutes later, she hadn't come back yet...And that's really when the nightmare begins."

Multi-agency search and rescue teams -  including aviation, canine, and civilian support -  were deployed, and an Amber alert was set off as search efforts were carried out throughout the morning and night.

"In addition to our massive search efforts, our Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been conducting interviews with those in the park and around the region as well as pursuing all investigative leads,"  Lt Col Richard Mazzone of the NYSP shared.

On Monday night (October 2) - almost 48 hours after her sudden disappearance  - New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that Charlotte had been found safe, and a suspect named Craig Nelson Ross Jr., 47, was in custody.

At a press conference, the governor revealed that the little girl's alleged abductor left a ransom note in the mailbox of her family home. This letter ultimately led investigators to Ross's campervan around the back of his mother's house where she was discovered hidden inside a cabinet.

"His fingerprint was already in the database," Hochul told CNN host Anderson Cooper, as cited by The New York Post. "The home was surrounded by law enforcement and helicopters, they were able to bring her to safety, and not long after she was in the arms of her parents at a hospital."

The governor noted that the child was in "good health," and "appeared to be outwardly physically unharmed at the time," adding that it was clearly a "traumatic" event for her and her family.

It has not been determined if the suspect was known to the family or if he targeted or surveilled Charlotte.

Hochul praised the "tireless" efforts of authorities on Monday evening. "We are overjoyed at the news that Charlotte Sena has been located safely this evening after an intense days-long search," she said in a statement. "Our hearts are with her family as they welcome her home."

Law enforcement declared that the success was a "culmination of multiple agencies working together for the common goal of bringing this child home to her loving family".

"We cannot emphasize enough how appreciative we are for the support we received from Charlotte’s community, friends, and family," they added.

No charges have been brought against Ross Jr - but the governor said that "they are fully expected".

Featured image credit: Rbkomar / Getty