Charlotte Sena’s alleged kidnapper identified through fingerprint on ransom note

Charlotte Sena’s alleged kidnapper identified through fingerprint on ransom note

Christopher Cann
 USA TODAYplayShow CaptionHide Caption#videoDetailsToggle{color:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));cursor:pointer;display:inline-block;font-family:var(–sans-serif,sans-serif);font-size:var(–type-7);font-weight:var( –font-weight-bold,900);line-height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);margin-bottom:-8px}#vdt_hide{margin-bottom:10px}.vdt-flex[hidden]{display:none}.vdt-svg{fill:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);width:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px)}Missing 9-year-old Charlotte Sena found, suspect in custodyMissing 9-year-old Charlotte Sena has been found safe in New York after an extensive two-day search.

A man accused of abducting 9-year-old Charlotte Sena from a New York state campground was identified after police matched a fingerprint on a ransom note left at the girl’s home Monday morning to a drunk driving arrest from 1999, authorities said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said police were monitoring the Sena family home in Greenville, New York, near the state park where Charlotte went missing, when a person pulled up to the house and left the note. At around 2:30 that afternoon New York State Police were able to match a fingerprint to 47-year-old Craig Nelson Ross Jr.

Police found Ross in a camper behind his mother’s house in Saratoga County and “after some resistance,” Ross was arrested at around 6:30 p.m. 

Charlotte was discovered in a cabinet, and appeared to be physically unharmed. She was taken to a local hospital, as is customary in such cases.

“We are overjoyed at the news that Charlotte Sena has been located safely this evening after an intense days-long search,” the governor said in a statement. “Our hearts are with her family as they welcome her home.”

In a statement shared with USA TODAY, Charlotte’s aunt Jené Sena thanked law enforcement as well as the families and friends who volunteered in the search.

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“We are thrilled that we are home and we understand that the outcome is not what every family gets,” Sena said.

Ross charged with first-degree kidnapping

Ross is being held at the Saratoga County Correctional Facility without bail, according to the New York State Police.

He was processed at New York State Police headquarters and then arraigned at the Milton Town Court early Tuesday on a felony charge of first-degree kidnapping. Additional charges are anticipated, police said.

It’s unclear if Ross has retained a lawyer who can comment on his behalf.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and no further interviews will be granted at this time,” said a statement from the New York State Police.

Hundreds of people assisted in the search for Charlotte

Ross’ arrest concluded a two-day search that saw hundreds of people including police, forest rangers and firefighters descent on Moreau Lake State Park, about 35 miles north of Albany, New York, and the surrounding area to look for Charlotte. Helicopters, drones and dogs were also used in the search.

Charlotte, the middle child of three girls, disappeared Saturday evening while riding her bicycle on a loop trail around the cabin where her and her family were camping with friends over the weekend. Her family lives in Greenfield, a town of about 8,200 residents in Saratoga County, New York.

On Sunday morning, an Amber Alert was sent that included Charlotte’s description and police announced the exhaustive search that began on the previous night. Authorities said they suspected Charlotte had been abducted based on the circumstances of her disappearance.

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While police continued their search and examined the ransom note, Charlotte’s parents and siblings remained at the campsite surrounded by family and friends. The park was closed Sunday and Monday with security checkpoints during the search.

Charlotte’s family urged the public to look out for anyone who appeared suspicious or matched Charlotte’s description while also pleading for tips to the New York State Police.

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