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By Rampart Stonebridge, updated on October 3, 2023

Charlotte Sena’s family issues statement after their daughter is found

A 9-year-old girl named Charlotte Sena was abducted in New York while on a camping trip and was subsequently found two days later. Thankfully, Charlotte was located and has been safely reunited with her family.

Charlotte's family was enjoying a camping trip in Moreau Lake State Park, a densely forested area 35 miles north of Albany, when the tragedy struck. Charlotte went missing on Saturday evening.

According to details, she had been riding her bike near the park when she vanished. An AMBER Alert was swiftly issued by the New York State Police after her disappearance. Charlotte's mother immediately called 911 when her daughter's bicycle was found abandoned just a half-hour later. This raised alarms, and the authorities feared she might have been abducted.

In their search, hundreds of search and rescue personnel combed the park and its vicinity. The search covered a 46 linear mile area around Moreau Lake State Park. The expansive effort lasted through the weekend and part of Monday.

Evidence Points to a Suspect

A crucial piece of evidence surfaced early Monday. A note was discovered in the Sena family's mailbox, and its fingerprints were promptly examined.

As reported by PEOPLE magazine, a second fingerprint on that note was matched to one Craig Nelson Ross Jr., who had a record of a 1999 DWI case.

Governor Kathy Hochul stated in a press conference, "The match of the fingerprints led police to the home of Ross’ mother."

It was here that law enforcement agents linked Ross to a property in Milton, approximately 17 miles from Moreau Lake State Park. Ross was discovered hiding in a camper around 6:30 p.m.

Charlotte's Safe Return

In a twist of fate, Charlotte was found inside a cabinet within a trailer on Monday evening. Her discovery was heart-wrenching but a relief, as she appeared physically unharmed. Saratoga County Sheriff's Office revealed the details surrounding the young girl's rescue. The joyous reunion of Charlotte with her family was an emotional one.

Jene Sena, Charlotte's aunt, made a heartwarming suggestion in the midst of this ordeal, "Those who had used Charlotte's photo as a profile picture on social media should change it to an orange heart that says 'Welcome Home Charlotte!'"

Charlotte's family expressed immense gratitude towards everyone involved in the search. They extended their thanks to various agencies, volunteers, and the community at large for their tireless efforts.

Accusations and the Suspect's Arrest

Ross, 47 at the time of the crime, faced resistance upon his arrest. Questions lingered on whether Charlotte was specifically targeted and if Ross had any prior connections to the family, Yahoo reported.

Craig Nelson Ross Jr. now faces charges of first-degree kidnapping. He's currently detained at the Saratoga County Jail.

Charlotte's family, in their resilience, started a GoFundMe campaign which remarkably raised over $20,000 in less than 24 hours. This fund aimed to support the family through this traumatic event.

Why the Public Cares

Incidents such as Charlotte's abduction strike a chord with many due to the sheer vulnerability of the situation.

Families across the nation could imagine the horror and helplessness the Sena family must have felt.

Such events are a grim reminder of the potential dangers lurking even in seemingly safe places.

Lessons to learn from this tragedy

When it comes to safeguarding our loved ones, especially children, it's essential to be proactive. However, it's equally important to remember that crime can happen to anyone. Victim-blaming is never the solution. Here are a few takeaways:

  • Awareness: Educate children about stranger danger and the importance of being aware of their surroundings.
  • Emergency Protocols: Ensure that kids know essential contact numbers and can call for help if needed.
  • Stay Together: In crowded or vast areas, it's advisable to stay in groups or pairs.
  • Stay Updated: In an era of technology, using apps or devices that can help track or locate loved ones can be beneficial.

The resilience shown by the Sena family and the community that rallied around them serves as an inspiration. The incident serves as a poignant reminder that in the face of adversity, humanity often shines the brightest.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.

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