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Charlotte Sena’s Kidnapper Identified
A 47-year-old man in a suburban area of New York has been accused of kidnapping 9-year-old Charlotte Sena and allegedly keeping her in a camper near his mother’s house, authorities have confirmed.
According to jail officials, Craig N. Ross Jr. is being held without bail on charges of first-degree kidnapping at Saratoga County Correctional Facility.
According to New York State Police, Charlotte was abducted on Saturday evening from Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County. New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she disappeared while riding her bike alone at the campsite during dinner time.
The girl’s family and other campers began searching for her. Charlotte’s mother found her bike at around 6:45 PM, and the police were called on Saturday night and 911 was called.
In an interview with ABC News on Tuesday, State Police Colonel Richard Allen refuted some media reports that Charlotte’s bike was found in a ravine. He mentioned that the bike was recovered, including the kickstand.
An Amber Alert was issued for the missing child on Saturday night, and an extensive search involving over 400 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers and firefighters was conducted in the vast par
Hochul announced on Monday night at a press conference that the missing girl had been found, apparently by herself. She said that around 4:20 AM, a note was left in the mailbox of the Sena family home.
Hochul explained, “She actually walked up to the mailbox, believing that they weren’t home, at 4:20 in the morning, opens the mailbox and leaves a note and leaves a very important piece of evidence behind – her own fingerprint.”
Allen told ABC News on Tuesday that State Police had been providing security at the Sena residence while Charlotte’s parents, David and Trisha Sena, were still at the campsite. He said that “people were staying at the house all night” and soldiers assumed it was a regular person leaving belongings behind.
Using technology and investigative work, detectives were able to match a fingerprint found on the note to Ross, who had a previous arrest in Saratoga, New York, in 1999.
Hochul stated that Ross was tracked down to a residence registered under his name in Ballston Spa, New York, about 2 miles from the Sena residence. Investigators learned that Ross was staying in a camper behind a Double Wide home in Ballston Spa.
Allen said that around 20 State Police and FBI SWAT team members converged near the Ballston Spa home.
Allen said that Ross resisted officers when they encountered him there. He claimed, “He did present some resistance to our SWAT personnel; they did require the use of very little force.”
Allen mentioned that Charlotte was found in a small chamber within the camper where she had been staying.
“When she saw officers, she became very emotional,” Allen said.
According to police, when the fourth-grader was rescued, she was in “good health.”
Allen also said that Charlotte was not wearing the same clothes she had on when she went missing. She was found wearing an adult-sized sweatshirt when located.
Allen stated that detectives conducted a brief interview with Ross after his arrest, but when he requested a lawyer, the interview was terminated.
They also questioned the distraught mother, who was at her residence during the search. She was visibly shaken, according to reports.
Allen said Ross had not been registered as a camper at Moreau Lake State Park, and it was unclear at this time whether he knew Charlotte or had been keeping tabs on her for an extended period.
As of now, investigators have not found any connection between Ross and Charlotte’s family.
“We’re relieved she’s home, and we understand that the outcome isn’t what every family gets,” the Sena family said in a statement, thanking law enforcement agencies, friends, and volunteers who rallied together.