Charlotte Sena: What we know about missing nine-year-old’s disappearance and rescue | EUROtoday

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It started as a household tenting journey.

It then become each dad or mum’s worst nightmare.

Charlotte Sena, 9, was visiting a campsite in upstate New York with household and buddies when she determined to go on a motorcycle trip with a gaggle of shut buddies on Saturday night.

After doing a few loops of the campsite with the group, the nine-year-old determined to go round Moreau Lake State Park another time by herself. But she by no means returned.

What adopted subsequent was 48 hours of rising fears for her security as legislation enforcement feared she was in “imminent danger”.

Then, on Monday night time, constructive information got here.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul introduced that the little lady had been discovered protected and that her alleged abductor Craig Nelson Ross Jr, 47, was in police custody.

Here’s what we know up to now about the case:

Last sighting

Before going missing, Charlotte was final seen at round 6.15pm on Saturday night using her bike in Loop A of Moreau Lake State Park, in keeping with Lt Col Richard Mazzone of the New York State Police.

When she failed to come back again, her household and buddies went in search of her.

The little lady’s bike was discovered deserted in the identical space – however there was no signal of little Charlotte.

At round 6.45pm, the fourth-grader’s distraught mom referred to as 911 to report her daughter missing.

Police had been on website by 7pm on Saturday, Governor Hochul mentioned in a Sunday afternoon information convention.

Charlotte Sena, 9, vanished Saturday night from Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County, New York

(New York State Police)

“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,” Governor Hochul mentioned.

“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.

“Literally 15 minutes later, she hadn’t come back yet,” the governor mentioned. “And that’s really when the nightmare begins.”

Amber Alert issued

Police issued an Amber Alert for the missing lady on Sunday after search groups failed to trace her down.

Multi-agency search and rescue groups had been deployed to seek out her, together with aviation, canine and civilian assist, Lt Col Mazzone mentioned.

Two drones and airboat search groups, together with six underwater rescue groups, had been additionally deployed.

“We also have the Schenectady Fire Office assisting with the search, given that Charlotte is the niece of one of the members of the Schenectady Fire Department,” Governor Hochul mentioned.

Police mentioned search efforts continued by means of the night time on Saturday.

“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 Mazzone mentioned.

Authorities concern AMBER Alert for missing 9-year-old lady in New York

Officials mentioned they believed it was “quite possible” the fourth-grader was kidnapped.

Charlotte discovered ‘safe’

On Monday night time, New York officers introduced that the little lady had been discovered alive – and {that a} suspect had been taken into custody.

In a press convention, the governor mentioned the break within the case got here at round 4.20am ET on Monday when the suspect drove to the house of Charlotte’s dad and mom and left a ransom word.

“He literally drove up to the family’s mailbox assuming they were not home,” she mentioned, including that Charlotte’s dad and mom had been nonetheless looking out the campground on the time, and officers who had been monitoring the property had been despatched to a different name within the space.

Police later examined the word for fingerprints and searched legislation enforcement databases to see if they may discover a match, and recognized the suspect as 47-year-old Craig Nelson Ross Jr.

Investigators had been capable of decide Mr Ross was residing in a campervan behind his mom’s residence and used two SWAT groups to make entry into the campervan, Ms Hochul mentioned.

How New York police discovered missing Charlotte Sena

“They had what they call a dynamic entry tactical maneuver, and within the camper they located the suspect,” she mentioned.

The New York Governor mentioned the missing nine-year-old was discovered hidden in a cupboard.

Governor Hochul mentioned Charlotte seemed to be in good well being, however was taken to a hospital, which is “customary”.

The fourth-grader has now been reunited along with her dad and mom.

Speaking about her rescue, governor Hochul mentioned: “She knew she was being rescued. She knew she was in safe hands.”

Suspect charged with kidnapping

Mr Ross Jr, 47, was charged with first-degree kidnapping within the early hours of Tuesday morning and appeared for his arraignment in Milton Town Court, in keeping with native outlet Times Union.

He was then booked into the Saratoga County jail at round 3.40am on Tuesday morning.

He is now being held there with out bail.

As properly because the fingerprint, the governor additionally advised CNN that authorities used “cell phone pings” from folks within the space the place the nine-year-old was final noticed to assist discover the suspect.

“They were checking all the different cell phones that have been in the vicinity of this park,” she mentioned.

The governor mentioned authorities additionally had data from those that got here to the park as campers as a result of they needed to register and folks there for the day paid an entrance charge.

Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office launched mug shot of Craig Nelson Ross Jr

(Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office)

“So, you could start circling around possible suspects based on the cell phone data, who is in the park and also then ultimately, the ransom note,” she mentioned.

“It was extraordinary to see how they traced it down to an individual’s home,” the governor added. “The home was surrounded by law enforcement and helicopters and they were able to bring her to safety. And not long after, she was in the arms of her parents at a hospital.”

The suspect “resisted” being taken into custody and sustained minor accidents, the governor mentioned.

Police are trying to find out if the Sena household was recognized to the suspect.

At a press convention on Monday night, Governor Hochul revealed the deal with linked to the suspect’s car was two miles from Charlotte’s house in Greenfield, New York.

Police will spend Tuesday interviewing Mr Ross Jr to find out if he had the nine-year-old below surveillance, Governor Hochul mentioned.

The governor additionally mentioned the suspect’s house is being searched by police to ensure he’s not linked to another instances.

Over $17,000 raised

Prior to Monday’s discovery, a GoFundMe web page arrange for the household of Charlotte Sena had raised over $17,000.

The web page was initially set as much as elevate cash for the search efforts for the missing little one, however the cash will now go to the nine-year-old’s dad and mom to assist them “transition back into some sense of normalcy.”

“Please donate to help the family during this difficult time,” a message posted on the fundraiser web page reads. “Any donations will go directly to her parents to help with any expenses while they transition back into some sense of normalcy.”

Amber Alert for missing lady


At a press convention on Sunday, earlier than the nine-year-old was discovered, the fourth-grader was described as a “joyful” little one who was lately elected a category officer for pupil council.

“Everybody thought of her as just a really nice girl – the kind everyone wanted to be friends with, the kind that looked out for other children,” Ms Hochul mentioned. “The pride of every parent.”

Ms Hochul added: “On a picture-perfect fall day here in upstate New York, Charlotte Sena’s family and friends gathered for a weekend of friendship and food and enjoying one of the last few days of good weather… so the kids could have a chance to be in nature, have a chance to be kids.

“They were here to make memories – the kind that last a lifetime. But instead the day turned into every parent’s nightmare,” mentioned Governor Hochul.