NEW YORK (PIX11) — There were cheers from family, friends and volunteers Monday night upon learning 9-year-old Charlotte Sena was found alive.
Craig Nelson Ross Jr., 47, is now behind bars and charged with first-degree kidnapping.
Sena disappeared on Saturday while riding her bicycle in an upstate New York park where she was camping with her family. When an exhaustive search yielded only her abandoned bike, police issued an Amber Alert suspecting abduction.
Police say Ross Jr.’s fingerprints were found on a ransom note he placed in the Sena family’s mailbox early Monday morning.
SWAT teams surrounded his camper behind his mother’s home and found Sena in a closet. The little girl was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Sena has since been reunited with her family, which released the following statement.
“We are thrilled that she is home, and we understand that the outcome is not what every family gets. A huge thank you to the FBI, the New York State police, all of the agencies that were mobilized, all of the family, friends, and volunteers.”
Police said Ross Jr.’s fingerprint on the ransom note matched his fingerprint from a 1999 DWI arrest in Saratoga. Hochul said the suspect lived just 2 miles from the Sena family, but it is not clear if there is a connection.
Children at Sena’s school wore orange bands on Tuesday to celebrate and support Charlotte’s rescue.
Ross Jr. was ordered held without bail.