A 9-year-old girl who went missing while riding her bike on a family camping trip has been located safe and sound. Charlotte Sena disappeared on September 30, with New York State Police launching a widespread search to bring the child home safely. Thankfully, they got a big break then the 47-year-old man who kidnapped her left his fingerprints on a ransom note he put in the mailbox of the family home, ABC News reports. This led authorities straight to Craig Ross Jr. — and to young Charlotte.
- The big break came in the early hours of Monday morning. During a news conference held on Monday, October 2, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said that around 4:20 a.m. that morning, a car pulled up to the mailbox at Charlotte Sena’s family home and left a ransom note. At the time, Charlotte’s parents were still at the campsite where she’d gone missing.
- State police had been watching the Sena home and saw the suspect pull up. They immediately grabbed the note, found a fingerprint, and ran it through the system. Lucky for them, they had a match by 2:30 p.m. the same day — Craig Ross Jr. had a previous arrest for DWI in 1999 and was in the system.
- Authorities were soon led to a double-wide house belonging to Ross’s mother lived. Ross lived in a camper behind the main residence, and that’s where they found Charlotte hiding in a cabinet. For all intents and purposes, she appeared physically unharmed but was taken to a local hospital for examination. “She knew that she was being rescued. She knew that she was in safe hands,” Hochul said.
- Craig Ross Jr. resisted arrest. However, authorities eventually subdued him and took him into custody, with Hochul noting that they “fully expect” to bring charges against him.
- Charlotte Sena’s family issued a statement thanking everyone for working together to bring Charlotte home. “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,” the statement read.
Charlotte family celebrating that their daughter has been found alive. 🦋
It’s a good day y’all.
— 𝕏 🕵🏻♀️🦋L̤̮E̤̮G̤̮🅰️C̤̮Y̤̮🦋🕵🏻♀️ 𝕏 (@iamlegacy23) October 2, 2023