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Suspect in Charlotte Sena abduction charged with kidnapping

  • Officials: Craig Nelson Ross Jr. was charged with first-degree kidnapping
  • Charlotte Sena went missing Saturday from Moreau Lake State Park
  • 9-year-old was found alive; a ransom note linked officials to the suspect

(NewsNation) — The suspect in connection with the abduction of a 9-year-old girl during a family camping trip in upstate New York has been charged.

Craig Nelson Ross Jr., 47, was charged with first-degree kidnapping, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to NewsNation on Tuesday.  

He was held without bail, according to the Times Union.

Charlotte Sena went missing over the weekend while riding her bike early Saturday evening at Moreau Lake State Park, a heavily wooded area some 35 miles north of Albany.

She was found alive and safe Monday.

“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 Sena family said in a statement Tuesday.

Investigators were able to identify a fingerprint from a ransom note allegedly left by the suspect she identified as Ross Jr.

Craig Ross is charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of Charlotte Sena, 9. (Saratoga County, New York Sheriff’s Office)

The ransom note was left inside the mailbox of the Sena family home around 4 a.m. Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said. A fingerprint on the ransom note matched Ross, who was in a database from a 1999 DUI case.

Police tracked  Ross to a double-wide trailer owned by his mother. They made entry into the camper around 6:30 p.m. and arrested Ross, who they said put up “some resistance” and suffered some minor injuries.

Sena was found safe inside the camper, which is about two miles from the Sena home, Hochul said.

Officials issued an Amber Alert on Sunday after an exhaustive search because, “It was quite possible that an abduction had taken place,” state police Lt. Colonel Richard Mazzone said at the time. About 400 search and rescue personnel actively searched a 46-linear mile area around the state park.


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