‘Overjoyed’: Police say Charlotte Sena found ‘in good health’; suspect identified

Charlotte Sena, the 9-year-old who went missing Saturday at a New York state park, has been found safe, police said Monday. A suspect is in custody and has been identified.

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Suspect identified

Update 10:55 p.m. EDT Oct. 2: During a news conference late Monday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul identified the suspect as Craig Nelson Ross, Jr., 47. Ross was taken into custody after briefly resisting authorities, Hochul said.

Hochul said that Ross’ fingerprints were found on a ransom note that was left in a mailbox at the home of Charlotte Sena’s parents at about 4:20 a.m. EDT on Tuesday.

“A car pulls up to a mailbox and someone left something in there,” Hochul said, adding that police took the note after the vehicle pulled away and had it tested for fingerprints.

The first time, investigators did not find a match. However, at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, investigators found a match from a 1999 DWI arrest in Saratoga, New York.

Police then went to a residence in Milton, where a woman in a “double-wide” — later identified as Ross’ mother — was living. There was a camper adjacent to the mobile home, and police found Ross and Sena.

The child was “found in a cabinet, covered,” Hochul said.

“She knew she was being rescued,” the governor said.

State police said that Ross suffered minor injuries when he struggled during his arrest, the Times Union newspaper of Albany reported.

Sena was taken via ambulance to Albany Medical Center Hospital, according to the newspaper.

Hochul added that no charges have yet to be filed against Ross, but “they are expected.”

Finding Sena was a happy ending to an exhausting 48 hours for her family and for law enforcement officers, Hochul said.

“What happened was extraordinary,” she said.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Police will give update on Tuesday

Update 8:38 p.m. EDT Oct. 2: In a news release, the New York State Police said that authorities located 9-year-old Charlotte Sena at about 6:32 p.m. on Monday.

“State Police identified an individual as being in the area of the Moreau Lake State Park around the time Charlotte went missing,” police said. “Further investigation led to the search of multiple residences where the individual is known to reside.”

State police said that more details will be shared “as they become available.”

A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


Update 7:46 p.m. EDT Oct. 2: The New York State Police released a statement updating the status of Charlotte Sena, the 9-year-old girl who went missing on Saturday.

“Charlotte Sena has been located and in good health. A suspect is in custody,” state police said. “This is still an active investigation.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement that officials were “overjoyed” to find Sena safe.

“Our hearts are with her family as they welcome her home,” Hochul said. “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.”

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Suspect allegedly left ransom note

Update 7:40 p.m. EDT Oct. 2: The New York State Police issued a statement Monday evening confirming that Charlotte Sena had been found and that more information would be released later, the Times Union newspaper of Albany reported.

The newspaper, citing anonymous sources, said the suspect allegedly left a note at the home of Sena’s parents. The suspect allegedly has a criminal history that include sexual abuse.

Police allegedly raided a residence in Milton on Monday evening, located about 13 miles of the Sena residence in Porters Corners, the Times Union reported.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Police: Charlotte Sena found alive

Update 7:05 p.m. EDT Oct. 2: Police in New York said that Charlotte Sena, the 9-year-old girl who went missing on Saturday, has been found “in good health,” WNYT-TV reported. A suspect is in custody, police said, according to the television station.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original report: Charlotte Sena went missing Saturday as she was riding her bike around an area of the state park.

“Following our exhaustive search of the park we took that step of issuing the Amber Alert because we felt that that exhaustive search, when we couldn’t find her here, it was quite possible that an abduction had taken place,” said Lt. Colonel Richard Mazzone of the Uniform Force of the State Police.

Charlotte’s family is asking the public for help as authorities ramp up their search for the 9-year-old.

“No tip is insignificant,” Jené Sena, Charlotte’s aunt, told WCBS-TV. “She is a blonde, adorable 9-year-old little girl with bangs. She has green eyes, just under 5 feet tall and she is just a sweet, adorable girl.”

“We just want her returned safely like any parent would. No tip is too small, please call if you know anything at all,” reads a statement from Charlotte’s family provided to news outlets.

More than 100 people are searching for the girl, including members of the Schenectady Fire Department where her uncle works.

Police said Charlotte was last seen bicycling on Saturday evening in Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.

Charlotte was riding her bike around a loop in the park with other children when she decided to ride around one more time by herself. When she did not return after about 15 minutes, her parents called 911. Her bicycle was found about 30 minutes after she left to ride around the area.

Charlotte has long, blonde hair. She is approximately 5 foot 1 and weighs about 90 pounds. She was last seen wearing an orange tie-dye Pokemon shirt, dark blue pants, black Crocs and a gray bike helmet.

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