9-year-old Charlotte Sena was camping with her family when she went missing on Sept. 30 while on a solo bike ride at Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County, about 50 miles north of Albany. When she failed to return after around 15 minutes, her family went looking for her. At at 6:45 p.m her bike was found, but Sena was nowhere to be seen. Her mother called the police and reported that her daughter was missing after which the law enforcement began an extensive search.
Early Sunday morning an Amber Alert was issued.
“Following our exhaustive search of the park we took that step of issuing the Amber Alert because we felt that that exhaustive search, when we couldn’t find her here, it was quite possible that an abduction had taken place,” said Lt. Colonel Richard Mazzone of the Uniform Force of the State Police.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children stated that Charlotte “was taken under circumstances that lead police to believe that (she is) in imminent danger of serious harm and/or death.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul remarked at a press conference on Sunday, “We are leaving no stone, no branch, no table, no cabin unturned, untouched, and unexamined in our search to find Charlotte.”
I cannot stop thinking about this sweet child. Charlotte Sena has been missing for over 24 hours. She was abducted from Moreau Lake State Park in New York. Please send prayers, well wishes, good vibes, whatever it is that you do, for her to return home unharmed. 🤍 pic.twitter.com/hoZ0chDzQe
— Rose (@901Lulu) October 2, 2023
Over a thousand people, including residents, police, and forest rangers took part in the search. Bloodhounds, drones, and boats were all being used in the search of the state park.
Breakthrough in the case came when the police watching Charlotte’s family home noticed someone dropping of mail in the mailbox. Police were able to pull fingerprints off the note, which led them to a man named Ross whom they linked to a property owned by his mother. The police made entry and found him in a camper by the evening of Oct. 2.
“After some resistance, the suspect was taken into custody and immediately the little girl was found in a cabinet,” Hochul said. “She knew she was being rescued. She knew that she was in safe hands.”
ATTENTION NEEDED. This little 9-year-old girl has been missing since Saturday night from Saratoga County. Her name is Charlotte Sena. An Amber Alert has been issued. NYS Police believe she may have been abducted. Remember this face and if you see her call 9-1-1 immediately. pic.twitter.com/yLMmtmtdaW
— Marisa Jacques (@MarisaJacquesTV) October 2, 2023
Jene, Charlotte’s aunt, told NBC News that until the girl was located, it seemed as if Charlotte had “disappeared almost into thin air.”
“I mean it was, minutes, minutes between when she was last seen and when she wasn’t there anymore.”
Luckily, the girl was found safe and sound.
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Love and Peace