Family of 9-year-old Charlotte Sena, missing in NY state, asks public for help

Family of 9-year-old Charlotte Sena, missing in NY state, asks public for help


Christopher Cann
 USA TODAY

The search for a missing 9-year-old girl believed to have been abducted from a campground in Upstate New York is in its third day as law enforcement scours the area and the family asks for help from the public.

Charlotte Sena was last seen on her bicycle Saturday at 6:15 p.m. in Moreau Lake State Park, about 35 miles north of Albany, New York where she was camping with her family. She was riding her bike around a loop in the bucolic park with her friends when she decided to ride around one more time by herself. 

Thirty minutes later, Charlotte’s mother, Trisha Sena, found the bicycle but not her daughter. She called 911, leading to a massive search that includes state police, forest rangers, divers, dogs, drones and helicopters.

Authorities issues an Amber Alert for Charlotte on Sunday morning.

“The child was taken under circumstances that lead police to believe that they are in imminent danger of serious harm and/or death,” the Amber Alert said.

Moreau Lake State Park, where Charlotte was last seen, remains closed “until further notice,” according to its website. The 4,600 acres state park in Saratoga County is “mostly wild” and includes dense forests, pine stands and rocky ridges, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The wooded campsites are “quiet and secluded.”

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The fourth-grader was last seen wearing an orange tie-dye Pokemon shirt, dark blue pants, black Crocs, and a grey bike helmet.

Charlotte Sena’s disappearance has been a ‘nightmare’ for the family

Jené Sena, an aunt of Charlotte, told USA TODAY the last few days have been a “nightmare” for her family.

Charlotte’s mother and father have stayed at the campsite since Saturday to help police in their search. They are surrounded by friends and over 30 family members, Jené Sena said.

Her husband, Patrick Sena, a firefighter with the Schenectady Fire Department, has searched for their niece since Saturday night, along with other family members. He was out in the state park all through Saturday night and well into Sunday evening after a 24-hour work shift.

“My husband couldn’t walk this morning,” Jené Sena said.

Charlotte is the middle child of three girls. Her father, David Sena, is a union pipe fitter, and her mother, Trisha, is a food service inspector for Stewart’s Shops convenience stores. The family lives in Greenfield, a town of about 8,200 residents in Saratoga County, New York.

Jené Sena described Charlotte as a kind, funny girl who’s known for her dry humor and contagious smile.

“She is such a sweet girl,” Jené Sena said. “A real sweetheart.”

Charlotte’s aunt urged the public to report tips to New York State Police.

“It’s really important for people to stay vigilant, call in with tips and keep their eyes peeled for anybody suspicious and anybody that might fit her description,” she said, adding: “Because at this point, so much time has gone by that they really could be anywhere.”

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Her family and friends will continue to search for Charlotte as long as they have to, said Jené Sena.

“We just want the nightmare to be over,” she said.

Contributing: Vanessa Arredondo, USA TODAY

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