Abducted nine-year-old's family speaks out after she's safely returned home
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: National Center of Missing and Exploited Children/@Trisha Sena/Facebook
The family of nine-year-old Charlotte Sena, who was abducted while on a family camping trip, have spoken out following her rescue.
Charlotte went missing on Saturday (30 September) from New York's Moreau Lake State Park. She had been camping with her family when she decided to take her bike for a ride around the picnicking field by herself.
When she didn't return for 15 minutes, Charlotte's family and other campers went out to look for her, and upon realizing she'd vanished, called the police.
New York State Police immediately activated an Amber Alert for the young girl and 'over 100 personnel [were] deployed and 75 law enforcement on the ground' in a bid to find her.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul explained: "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. And that’s really when the nightmare begins.”
A few hours after she was last seen, Charlotte's family received a ransom note through the mailbox of their family home.
By analysing fingerprints on the note, investigators realised they were already on the police database and are reported as belonging to 47-year-old Craig Ross Jr.
Ross Jr. was located in a camper van behind his mom's house in Ballston Spa, where SWAT teams assisted the search.
Authorities performed 'a dynamic entry tactical manoeuvre' according to Hochul, and Ross Jr. was arrested 'with some resistance'.
On Monday (2 October) Charlotte was found hidden in a cabinet, and was reported as 'physically unharmed', aware she was 'being rescued' and now in 'safe hands'.
Ross Jr. is now being held in custody without bail, police have confirmed.
Following Charlotte's safe return home, her aunt, Jene Sena has spoken out in a post on Facebook, thanking authorities and volunteers for their work.
The post reads: "Thank you God and the FBI, NYSP, all the multiple agencies, friends, family, volunteers, community members, who worked tirelessly to bring Charlotte home!!!!!!!! GOD IS GOOD."
Jene's post came after Charlotte's family members urged members of the public to come forward with any information they might have about the young girl's disappearance, stressing that they 'just want her returned safely like any parent would'.
Ross Jr. is being held at Saratoga County Jail, where he is facing questioning from police in relation to Charlotte's disappearance.