The 9-year-old girl who went missing last Saturday while camping with family in a New York park was found Monday evening “safe and in good health,” the Associated Press reported.
Charlotte Sena vanished while riding her bike on one of the loops in a heavily wooded area of Moreau Lake State Park in Upstate New York on Saturday evening just before dinner time, setting off a massive search on Sunday and Monday that ended with the arrest of a suspect and Charlotte’s rescue.
In a press conference on Monday evening, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the suspected abductor, 47-year-old Craig Nelson Ross Jr., was identified from a fingerprint on a ransom note left at the Senas’ home.
According to the governor, while the Sena family remained at the park, police surveilling their home watched someone drop the ransom note in the mailbox after 4:00 a.m. Monday. State Police pulled prints from the note and found one matching Ross, who was in the system from a DWI case in 1999.
Investigators linked the suspect to a property owned by his mother, and police and SWAT teams made entry at about 6:30 p.m. where they found Ross hiding in a camper parked out back.
Ross was taken into custody after putting up a struggle in which he suffered minor injuries.
Police found Charlotte hidden in a cabinet inside the camper. While she appeared to be unharmed, the 9-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital to be checked out before she was reunited with her family.
David and Trisha Sena said in a statement on Tuesday that they were “thrilled” that their daughter was home safe, noting that this isn’t always the outcome when a child is abducted, the Associated Press reported.
Ross was arraigned Monday night in Milton town court on the charge of first-degree kidnapping and taken to the Saratoga County Correctional Facility where he is being held without bail.
According to the State Police, Ross will likely face additional charges as the investigation continues.