UPDATE: Charlotte Sena Missing, Where She Was Last Seen? Found or Not?

What began as a joyous family camping trip turned into every parent’s worst nightmare when nine-year-old Charlotte Sena went missing in Moreau Lake State Park, upstate New York. Charlotte, who was camping with family and friends, decided to go for a bike ride on Saturday evening with a group of close friends. After doing a few loops with them, she opted for one last solo round. But she never returned.

Charlotte Sena Missing

Charlotte Sena Missing Update

Her disappearance sparked 48 hours of mounting fear for her safety. Law enforcement soon suspected she was in “imminent danger.” Positive news came late Monday night when New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Charlotte had been found safe, and her alleged abductor, Craig Nelson Ross Jr., 47, was in police custody.

Charlotte was last seen around 6:15 p.m. on Saturday riding her bike in Loop A of Moreau Lake State Park, said Lt. Col. Richard Mazzone of the New York State Police. When she failed to return, her family and friends began searching for her, finding her bike abandoned in the same area. By 6:45 p.m., her distraught mother called 911, and police arrived on site by 7:00 p.m.

Governor Hochul recounted, “She went out on a bike ride; it wasn’t dark, right around dinnertime. She did a couple of loops with close friends she considers her cousins and then decided after going around True Bay, she just wanted to go around one more time by herself. Fifteen minutes later, she hadn’t come back yet, and that’s really when the nightmare begins.”

An Amber Alert was issued for Charlotte on Sunday after initial search efforts failed. Multi-agency search and rescue teams, including aviation, canine units, and civilian support, scoured the area. Drones, airboats, and underwater rescue teams joined the search, assisted by the Schenectady Fire Department, where Charlotte’s uncle serves.

Despite exhaustive efforts, officials feared Charlotte had been abducted. “It was quite possible,” Lt. Col. Mazzone said.

On Monday night, New York officials announced Charlotte had been found alive, and a suspect was in custody. The breakthrough came around 4:20 a.m. Monday when the suspect left a ransom note at Charlotte’s parents’ home. The note, bearing fingerprints, was traced to Craig Nelson Ross Jr., who was located living in a campervan behind his mother’s residence.

Two SWAT teams conducted a “dynamic entry tactical maneuver” to apprehend Ross. Charlotte was found hidden in a cabinet within the camper. Governor Hochul confirmed she appeared in good health but was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

“She knew she was being rescued. She knew she was in safe hands,” Hochul said.

Suspect Charged with Kidnapping

Ross, 47, was charged with first-degree kidnapping early Tuesday morning and is being held without bail in Saratoga County jail. Authorities used cellphone data and park records to narrow down suspects, ultimately leading to Ross’s capture. Police are investigating whether he surveilled the Sena family or has connections to other cases.

A GoFundMe page set up for the Sena family raised over $17,000 to aid their transition back to normalcy. Initially aimed at supporting search efforts, the funds will now assist Charlotte’s parents.

Governor Hochul praised Charlotte, describing her as “joyful” and recently elected as a student council class officer. Reflecting on the ordeal, she said, “They were here to make memories that last a lifetime. But instead, the day turned into every parent’s nightmare.”

Charlotte’s rescue brings relief to her family and community, who rallied in support and maintained hope during the tense search.

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