Police located a kidnapped nine-year-old girl, Charlotte Sena, in a double-wide trailer near her family’s home in New York.
She was discovered in a cabinet in the trailer after the fourth-grader’s alleged captor left a ransom note in the family’s mailbox.
Charlotte, who went missing following a bike ride with friends on Saturday, was located on Monday night, according to New York State Police.
The suspect, identified as Craig Ross Jr., was charged with kidnapping after authorities found Charlotte during a search of his camper.
Ross was arraigned in Milton Town Court and is currently being held without bail at the Saratoga County Jail, as of Tuesday morning.
How Charlotte Sena’s Kidnapper Was Located
In a press conference, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, confirmed that the suspect allegedly drove up to the Sena family home at 4:20 a.m. on Monday and left a ransom note in their mailbox.
“He literally drove up to the family’s mailbox assuming they were not home,” she said, noting that the home was being watched by state police, but they had been called away to another emergency in the area.
State troopers ran a fingerprint found on the note and matched it with a 1999 DWI arrest of the Ross Jr. in Saratoga, NY.
Even without the ransom note, the governor believes that cell phone pings from people who were in the area Charlotte disappeared from helped dramatically narrow down the suspect pool.
All About Charlotte Sena’s Rescue
Hochul revealed that law enforcement found the suspect’s mother in a double-wide house, while the suspect resided in the camper behind it.
A tactical maneuver was executed to make a dynamic entry and the alleged kidnapper was located within the camper. After some resistance, Ross Jr. was apprehended and taken into custody and remains behind bars.
Despite the days long ordeal, Charlotte appeared to be physically unharmed when she was rescued by police.
“She knew she was being rescued,” the Hochul noted. “She knew she was in safe hands.”
She was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but further details about her condition remain undisclosed as per the family’s wishes.
How Large Was The Charlotte Sena Rescue Effort?
A three-day search-and-rescue operation, was led by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers and assisted by the FBI and numerous local police departments.
Over 400 certified search-and-rescue personnel participated in covering the 6,250-acre Moreau Lake State Park, where Charlotte was last seen before her recovery.
“It was extraordinary to see how they traced it down to an individual’s home,” Hochul said about law enforcement’s heroic actions.
“The home was surrounded by law enforcement and helicopters, and they were able to bring her to safety. And not long after, she was in the arms of her parents at a hospital.”
Sena’s family only had words of gratitude for the law enforcement agencies involved in rescuing her daughter.
“We are thrilled that she is home and we understand that the outcome is not what every family gets,” their statement read.
A huge thank you to the FBI, the New York State police, all of the agencies that were mobilized, all of the families, friends, community, neighbors and hundreds of volunteers who supported us and worked tirelessly to bring Charlotte home.”