Missing Charlotte Sena found after a 2-day search operation in New York, ransom note helped nab abductor

Oct 03, 2023 08:24 AM IST

9-year-old girl missing during camping trip in New York found safe and in good health, suspect captured.

Three days after a 9-year-old girl who vanished during a family camping trip in upstate New York has been found on Monday. Police say the girl is ‘safe and in good health’ after they captured a suspect who had allegedly abducted her.

Missing schoolgirl Charlotte Sena has been found and her alleged abductor arrested(X(Formerly Twitter)/@901Lulu)
Missing schoolgirl Charlotte Sena has been found and her alleged abductor arrested(X(Formerly Twitter)/@901Lulu)

Gov. Kathy Hochul informed the local media that investigators were able to identify the suspect after searching several residences on the basis of fingerprints from a ransom note. Charlotte was found at about 6:30 p.m. on Monday according to state police.

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“We are overjoyed at the news that Charlotte Sena has been located safely this evening after an intense days-long search,” Hochul said in a prepared statement. “Our hearts are with her family as they welcome her home.”

Without revealing details about the suspect authorities have stated that it's an active investigation. A news conference will be held on Tuesday to provide further details.

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How did Charlotte Sena disappear

Charlotte Sena disappeared while riding her bike early Saturday evening at Moreau Lake State Park, a heavily wooded park some 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of Albany. She went on a bike ride around the camp along with her friends and mysteriously disappeared after she lost touch with them. Almost 15 minutes after she didn't return from the bike ride, her parents called the police. The girl’s mother called 911 after her bicycle was found at around 6:45 p.m. Saturday.

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Charlotte Sena rescue operation

With 400 people participating the rescue marked the end of an intense search. The team included forest rangers, police officers and firefighters. There were reports that even FBI joined in the investigations. The search had expanded over 46 linear miles (74 linear kilometers).

Officials issued an Amber Alert on Sunday morning after an exhaustive search because “it was quite possible that an abduction had taken place,” state police Lt. Colonel Richard Mazzone said. The alert described her as a white girl with blonde hair and green eyes who is about 4 feet 6 inches tall (1.37 meters).

The girl’s family pleaded with the public for help in finding Charlotte,“We just want her returned safely like any parent would,” the family said in a statement earlier Monday. “No tip is too small, please call if you know anything at all.

The park remained closed because of the search, and officials asked members of the public who showed up hoping to help to stay away and leave the search to professionals. Federal authorities also issued a temporary flight restriction over the park for the safety of law enforcement air operations.

(With Agency inputs)

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