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NY girl found safe and in good health, area man charged with kidnapping

More than 400 people took part in the search for Charlotte Sena.
New York State Police
More than 400 people took part in the search for Charlotte Sena.

Authorities in New York’s Capital Region say a 9-year-old girl who had been missing since Saturday evening has been found safe and in good health. New York State police made the announcement around 7 p.m. Monday, also saying that a suspect was in custody.

More than 400 personnel searched over 45 miles of territory looking for Charlotte Sena who went missing while riding her bike Saturday evening at Moreau Lake State Park while camping with family.

Governor Kathy Hochul said law enforcement officers arrested 46-year-old Craig N. Ross Jr. in a trailer on his mother's property in Milton and rescued Sena, who was also in the trailer. Hochul says Ross was identified as the suspect after he left a ransom note in the mailbox at Sena's home. State police say it remains an ongoing investigation.

An Amber Alert was issued Sunday morning. The alert has since been cancelled. The park had been closed and airspace over the region was restricted while the search was ongoing. Officials indicated Sena may have been abducted.

Police say Ross Jr., of Ballston Spa, was arraigned at Milton Town Court and was charged with kidnapping. He was taken to Saratoga County Correctional Facility without bail and is due back in court October 17.

“We are overjoyed at the news that Charlotte Sena has been located safely this evening after an intense days-long search," Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement Monday night. "Our hearts are with her family as they welcome her home. Thank you to the New York State Police, New York Park Police and all who worked so tirelessly to find Charlotte. It is because of their efforts that Charlotte will be able to return home safe to her family.”

Calling it a joyous moment, Saratoga County Board of Supervisor Chair Todd Kusneirz thanked law enforcement and first responders for their work "in locating Charlotte and bringing her home."

The Corinth Central School District on Monday said it had mobilized a crisis team to respond to student concerns and questions. Sena is a fourth grader in the district. Superintendent Mark Stratton said the district’s focus remains on the safety and wellbeing of its students, adding there are extra counselors on site if any students or staff need their support.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org