Tuesday December 05, 2023

Charlotte Sena: Missing New York girl found locked inside cupboard of suspect's camper home

Charlotte Sena's abduction suspect Craig Nelson Ross Jr was brought down by his fingerprint on ransom note

By Web Desk
October 03, 2023
Charlotte Senas image used by the New York Police during her search. — NYPD
Charlotte Sena's image used by the New York Police during her search. — NYPD

Charlotte Sena, a 9-year-old girl who went missing on Saturday after riding her bike was found inside the cupboard of the suspect's trailer and was aware that she was being saved, as per New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

Charlotte Sena, the nine-year-old girl who went missing in a New York park, has been found "in good health", police have said.

At a press conference, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said that Craig Nelson Ross Jr., 47, was being held in connection with her disappearance.

On Saturday night, while biking in Moreau Lake State Park, some 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Albany, she vanished.

After waiting for her for fifteen minutes, her parents and other campers in the neighbourhood started looking for her.

According to Hochul, authorities used information acquired in 1999 during a drink-driving incident to pinpoint a fingerprint on a ransom note that had been handed to the family while the residence was under police surveillance.

She stated that after the note was recognised, police descended on the suspect's residence, a camper van behind his mother's home, and Charlotte was discovered in a cupboard by officers.

"She knew she was being rescued. She knew that she was in safe hands," Hochul said, adding the girl has been reunited with her family.

“After some resistance, the suspect was taken into custody, and immediately the little girl was found in a cabinet, covered,” Huchul said. “She was rescued.” 

Ross sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, police confirmed, while Sena “knew she was being rescued, she knew she was in safe hands.”

“The home was surrounded by law enforcement and helicopters, they were able to bring her to safety and not long after she was in the arms of her parents at a hospital,” Hochul said on CNN earlier Monday, noting checks determined the child was in “good health.”

Sena “is in good hands” and “appeared to be outwardly physically unharmed at the time,” Hochul added, saying it was obviously a “traumatic” event for the 9-year-old and her family.

It has not been determined if the suspect was known to the family or if he targeted or surveilled Sena. “At this moment, charges have not been brought, but they are fully expected,” Hochul said.