ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The 9-year-old girl who was reported missing from Moreau Lake State Park Saturday evening has been found alive. New York State Police said Charlotte Sena is safe and in good health. A suspect is also in custody in relation to the investigation.
On scene at Moreau Lake State Park Monday evening, Charlotte’s family gathered near the entrance to let out a huge cheer. They briefly thanked law enforcement and volunteers for their tireless efforts. The focus is now on caring for Charlotte.
Gov. Kathy Hochul held a press conference with several law enforcement partners late Monday night. She said the case began to break at 4:20 a.m. Monday when a ransom note was placed in the Sena family’s mailbox. A fingerprint match came in at 2:30 p.m.
The fingerprint was a match to Craig Nelson Ross, Jr. Hochul said the 46-year-old’s fingerprint was in the New York State database after a DWI in 1999 in Saratoga Springs.
Monday evening, police went to a double wide house in Ballston Spa. A woman living there was the suspect’s mother, but they found Ross in a camper behind the home. A Special Operations Response Team (SORT) executed a dynamic entry into the camper where they were met with some resistance from the suspect.
Police said Ross was taken into custody. He sustained minor injuries.
Charlotte was found in a cabinet and rescued. She was taken to a local hospital and reunited with her family. A family spokesperson issued a statement after Charlotte was found, saying, “We are thrilled that she is home and we understand that the outcome is not what every family gets. A huge thank you to the FBI, the New York State Police, all of the agencies that were mobilized all of the families, friends, volunteers.”
Charlotte was last seen at Moreau Lake State Park at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 while on a bike ride. An AMBER Alert was issued at 9:35 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 and was canceled around 6:45 p.m. Monday, 21 hours later. The announcement of Charlotte’s discovery came just minutes past the 48 hour mark since she was first noticed to be missing.
Around 400 search and rescue personnel searched a 46 linear mile area for the young girl. State Police sent out a notice thanking the family and community for their support.
Charges against Ross were not filed Monday night but are expected. Hochul said he was still being questioned late Monday. It remains an active and ongoing investigation.
The press conference with Gov. Hochul and law enforcement can be viewed in the player above.