Craig Nelson Ross Jr. has been apprehended and charged with first-degree kidnapping in the case of 9-year-old Charlotte Sena, who went missing on Saturday evening at Moreau Lake State Park, approximately 35 miles north of Albany.
The family’s nightmare came to an end when law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and New York State police, launched a massive two-day search involving four hundred certified search and rescue personnel.
The extensive search effort culminated in a miraculous discovery when Ross Jr. allegedly approached the Sena family’s mailbox at 4:20 a.m., leaving a ransom note and unintentionally leaving his fingerprint as a critical piece of evidence.
Governor Kathy Hochul expressed relief and joy during a late-night press conference, stating, “Our prayers have been answered.” She commended the collaborative efforts of various agencies and volunteers who tirelessly worked to bring Charlotte Sena home.
Remarkably, the missing child was found safe and unharmed inside a cabinet in a camper parked on Ross Jr.’s mother’s property. SWAT teams descended on the scene, leading to her discovery.
The Sena family released a statement expressing their gratitude for Charlotte’s safe return and acknowledging the extraordinary support they received from the community and law enforcement agencies. They stated, “We are thrilled that she is home, and we understand that the outcome is not what every family gets.”
Ross Jr. faces charges of first-degree kidnapping, with the possibility of additional charges pending. His fingerprints were reportedly on record from a 1999 DWI case in Saratoga.
The local community has collectively breathed a sigh of relief, with one searcher stating, “We’re all just breathing a sigh of relief, not just for them and their children but for all the children in the neighborhood. We feel safe again.”
This incident serves as a testament to the resilience of communities coming together to protect their own and the dedication of law enforcement in swiftly resolving a deeply distressing situation.