Charlotte Sena’s parents say they are ‘thrilled’ to have her home after an agonizing, two-day search during which they didn’t know if they would ever see her again.
Charlotte, nine, was snatched from Moreau Lake State Park on Saturday night sometime between 6.15pm and 6.30pm.
Last night, she was found in a trailer where Craig Ross Jr, 46, was living. He had left his DNA on a ransom note that he delivered to Charlotte’s parents on Monday morning.
Now, he is in custody on first-degree kidnapping charges.
Craig Ross Jr, 46, was arraigned on a first-degree kidnapping charge in the early hours of this morning at Wilton Town Court and is being held without bail
Charlotte Sena was found ‘alive and safe’ on Monday – two days after she was snatched from Moreau Lake State Park in Gansevoort. She was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital after being found
In a statement, Charlotte’s mother Trisha and father David said: ‘We’re thrilled. A huge thank you to the FBI, the New York State police, all of the agencies that were mobilized, all of the families, friends, community, neighbors and hundreds of volunteers who supported us and worked tirelessly to bring Charlotte home.’
Two SWAT teams – one state and one federal – swooped on the property in helicopters, with Ross said to have put up a struggle.
No mugshot has been released and there is no indication that Ross knew his victim’s family.
Ross Jr. drove up to Sena’s parents’ home at 4.20am Monday and left a ransom note inside their mailbox which was covered in his DNA and fingerprints.
At 2.30pm Monday, investigators finally found a match in the database and linked the fingerprints to a DWI arrest made in Saratoga County in the 1999.
From there, they swooped on Ross Jr’s camper van, arrested him, and found the missing girl.
Cops confirmed Ross Jr is not a registered sex offender, but did not reveal a motive. Earlier reports suggested the suspect taken into custody was a 51 year-old local pedophile who was not named, although that was corrected when the alleged abductor’s real identity came to light.
Charlotte was found inside the white trailer in the backyard of Craig Ross Jr.’s mother’s home in Milton, New York, on Monday evening
On Monday at around 4am, someone dropped a ransom note into the mailbox at Charlotte’s parents’ house (shown). It contained traces of Ross Jr’s DNA
Charlotte (far right) as a younger child with her mother Trisha, father David and sisters
Charlotte was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital after being found. She is said to be in good physical health.
Investigators are believed to be focused on the theory that Charlotte was pulled into a vehicle against her will or dragged into the woods.
Police said just after 7pm: ‘Charlotte has been found safe and in good health.’
New York State Police were previously confident Charlotte was abducted from Moreau Lake State Park. She was last seen wearing a tie-dye Pokemon shirt, dark blue pants, black crocs, gray bike helmet on Saturday evening.
The girl was found about 13 miles south of her family home.
The multi-agency search – which spanned 46 miles and included 400 search personnel and dozens of federal, state, and local bodies on the ground – ended today.
Charlotte was cycling alone on Loop A of Moreau Lake State Park in New York near Saratoga Springs when she vanished at 6.15pm on Saturday.
She had been playing with friends throughout the day but decided to cycle alone, one last time, before the sun went down.
It should have only taken a few minutes for to complete the small loop. At 6.30pm, her parents realized she hadn’t returned and grew worried. By 6.47pm, they had found Charlotte’s bike on the loop and called 911.
A frantic search was launched for the child, for whom an Amber Alert was issued on Sunday morning after rangers searched the 6,250-acre park and found no sign of her.
Charlotte’s relieved family held an impromptu press conference and thanked people for their help
Police found little Charlotte covered up and hidden in a cabinet on Monday
There are 158 camping sites in the park. Loop A sits in the southwest corner of the park and is directly adjacent to US Highway 9 – which runs all the way from Philadelphia to Canada.
New York Gov. Hochul said on Monday night: ‘We are overjoyed at the news that Charlotte Sena has been located safely this evening after an intense days-long search.
‘Our hearts are with her family as they welcome her home.
‘Thank you to the New York State Police, New York Park Police and all who worked so tirelessly to find Charlotte.
‘It is because of their efforts that Charlotte will be able to return home safe to her family.’