Missing 9-Year-Old Found, Suspect Arrested in Major Search Operation


In a dramatic turn of events, Charlotte Sena, a 9-year-old girl who went missing from a family camping trip at Moreau Lake State Park in upstate New York, was found safe and healthy. Missing since Saturday evening while riding her bicycle, Charlotte’s rescue on Monday brought an end to the massive two-day search involving around 400 people and spanning over 46 linear miles.

A person suspected of being involved in Charlotte’s disappearance, identified as 47-year-old Craig Nelson Ross Jr., was taken into custody following the discovery of a ransom note allegedly left by him. Governor Kathy Hochul disclosed that investigators were able to link Ross to the case through a fingerprint found on the ransom note which matched his records from a 1999 DWI case.

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Ross was located on a property owned by his mother and found hiding within a camper. Despite showing some resistance, he was arrested. Charlotte was discovered soon after, concealed in a cabinet. She was immediately taken to a local hospital, though she appeared physically unharmed. Governor Hochul confirmed that Charlotte has since been reunited with her family.

While no charges have been formally laid against Ross, they are anticipated. At the time of reporting, he was still undergoing questioning. Details of whether he had secured legal counsel were not immediately known.

An Amber Alert was triggered on Sunday morning following an extensive search conducted by state police, forest rangers, and firefighters. Upon the discovery of Charlotte’s abandoned bicycle near the campsite, authorities recognised the high probability of an abduction that led to this alert.

Concerns surrounding her disappearance prompted the public to offer assistance, however, officials urged community members to leave the investigation to the professionals. In tandem, the park remained closed due to the search operation and a temporary flight restriction was imposed over the park for the safety of law enforcement air operations.

Charlotte’s school, Corinth Central School District, has since provided additional counsellors to offer support to its students and staff affected by the events. Undeniably, the conclusion of this harrowing situation brings relief to the Sena family, the community, and the hundreds who participated in the search for Charlotte.

As the investigation continues, it serves as a stark reminder of the necessity of constant vigilance and the critical role that fast-acting law enforcement plays in our society. Highlighting such dramatic news stories underscores our commitment to keep our community informed and safe. We embrace this responsibility as we continue our mission to deliver the news that matters to the people on our beloved West Island.