A nine-year-old girl who vanished from her family holiday while riding a bike in an upstate New York park was found inside a cabinet in her abductor’s camper van.
Charlotte Sena was rescued by troopers on Monday – two days after she was snatched from Moreau Lake State Park in Gansevoort. She was found ‘in good health,’ police said.
Craig Ross Jr, 47, was arrested and is currently under questioning. He lived inside a trailer at his mother’s property on Barrett Road in Milton, New York.
Police found little Charlotte covered up and hidden in a cabinet on Monday afternoon, Gov. Kathy Hochul revealed at a press conference. Hochul said the youngster immediately realized she was being rescued.
Two SWAT teams – one state and one federal – swooped on the property in helicopters, with Ross said to have put up a struggle. He is being questioned and has yet to be charged with a crime, although Hochul says she expects that to follow soon. No mugshot has been released.
Ross Jr. drove up to Sena’s parents’ home at 4.20am Monday morning and left a ransom note inside their mailbox, Hochul said, which was covered in his DNA and fingerprints. hey weren’t home at the time.
At 2.30pm Monday, investigators finally found a match in the database and linked the fingerprints to a DWI arrest made in Saratoga County in the 1999. From there, they swooped on Ross Jr’s camper van, arrested him, and found the missing girl.
Cops confirmed Ross Jr is not a registered sex offender, but did not reveal a motive.
Charlotte was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital after being found. She is said to be in good physical health.
Charlotte Sena was found ‘alive and safe’ on Monday – two days after she was snatched from Moreau Lake State Park in Gansevoort. She was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital after being found
The suspect’s camper, seen bottom left, is next to his mother’s house in Milton, NY
Gov. Kathy Hochul revealed how troopers swooped in and found the little girl on Monday
Charlotte Sena was last seen cycling around Loop A in the Moreau Lake State Park in upstate New York near Saratoga Springs
Investigators are believed to be focused on the theory that Charlotte was pulled into a vehicle against her will or dragged into the woods.
Police said just after 7pm: ‘Charlotte has been found safe and in good health.’
New York State Police were previously confident Charlotte was abducted from Moreau Lake State Park. She was last seen wearing a tie-dye Pokemon shirt, dark blue pants, black crocs, gray bike helmet on Saturday evening.
The girl was found about 13 miles south of her family home.
The multi-agency search – which spanned 46 miles and included 400 search personnel and dozens of federal, state, and local bodies on the ground – ended today.
Charlotte was cycling alone on Loop A of Moreau Lake State Park in New York near Saratoga Springs when she vanished at 6.15pm on Saturday.
She had been playing with friends throughout the day but decided to cycle alone, one last time, before the sun went down.
It should have only taken a few minutes for to complete the small loop. At 6.30pm, her parents realized she hadn’t returned and grew worried. By 6.47pm, they had found Charlotte’s bike on the loop and called 911.
Police found little Charlotte covered up and hidden in a cabinet on Monday
Charlotte’s relieved family held an impromptu press conference and thanked people for their help
Charlotte (far right) as a younger child with her mother Trisha, father David and sisters
A frantic search was launched for the child, for whom an Amber Alert was issued on Sunday morning after rangers searched the 6,250-acre park and found no sign of her.
There are 158 camping sites in the park. Loop A sits in the southwest corner of the park and is directly adjacent to US Highway 9 – which runs all the way from Philadelphia to Canada.
New York Gov. Hochul said on Monday night: ‘We are overjoyed at the news that Charlotte Sena has been located safely this evening after an intense days-long search.
‘Our hearts are with her family as they welcome her home.
‘Thank you to the New York State Police, New York Park Police and all who worked so tirelessly to find Charlotte.
‘It is because of their efforts that Charlotte will be able to return home safe to her family.’