Charlotte Sena found safe after kidnapping, suspect tracked, who is he? | World News - Hindustan Times

'Abductor' Craig Ross hid Charlotte Sena in a cabinet cupboard, being investigated for pedophilia

Oct 03, 2023 07:37 PM IST

A 9-year-old girl kidnapped while riding her bike in New York was found safe; suspect located using fingerprints on ransom note. Who is the alleged abductor?

A 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped while riding her bike in New York state was found safe after police used fingerprints on a ransom note to track down the suspect.

Charlotte Sena, 9, who vanished during a camping trip in upstate New York. Authorities say that Sena has been found safe Monday, following a two day search. (Family photo via AP/NYPD)(AP/NYPD)
Charlotte Sena, 9, who vanished during a camping trip in upstate New York. Authorities say that Sena has been found safe Monday, following a two day search. (Family photo via AP/NYPD)(AP/NYPD)

Charlotte Sena went missing on Saturday in a wooded area of Moreau Lake State Park, a popular camping site about 45 miles north of Albany. Hundreds of people joined the search for the “bright and adventurous girl who loves to be outside”.

On Monday, a ransom note was left at the family home, where police were watching. The note had the suspect’s fingerprints, matching a database record from a drink-driving incident in 1999.

Police identified the suspect as Craig Nelson Ross Jr., 47, and located him at his mother’s property. He was arrested after resisting and the girl was found in a cabinet.

“She knew she was being rescued. She knew that she was in safe hands,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said at a news conference on Monday night.

“What happened was extraordinary,” she said.

ALSO READ| 9-Year-Old Charlotte Sena missing for 2 days, New York State Police release alarming updates

The governor named the suspect and said he was still being questioned. Police said the investigation was still active.

Charlotte’s family were on a camping trip when she disappeared. It was “every parent’s worst nightmare”, Gov Hochul said, adding that she had received anxious phone calls from around the country during the hunt.

The girl is “safe and in good health”, officers said, but had been taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Charlotte may have suffered “immense” trauma, said Callahan Walsh from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, speaking to the BBC’s US partner CBS.

During the hunt, police said 400 search and rescue personnel from law enforcement agencies such as the FBI were involved, along with volunteer fire departments and private groups.

They issued an amber alert for a missing child and asked for the public’s help finding her.

Police used fingerprints on ransom note to find kidnapped girl(NYSP)
Police used fingerprints on ransom note to find kidnapped girl(NYSP)

The search operation covered nearly 50 miles, police said. The park was closed off as state troopers set up road checkpoints and reportedly searched some cars.

The FBI has also been assisting with the case, Gov Hochul said.

Who is Craig Ross Jr., Charlotte Sena’s alleged abductor?

Craig Ross Jr. is the 46-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the abduction of Charlotte Sena, a New York girl who went missing on Saturday while riding her bike in a state park. He was identified by his fingerprints, which were found on a ransom note that was left at the girl’s family home on Monday. The fingerprints matched a database record from a drunk-driving incident in 1999.

Mugshot of Craig Ross(NYPD)
Mugshot of Craig Ross(NYPD)

Ross was located at his mother’s property and arrested after resisting. The girl was found in a cabinet and rescued. She was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

The Times Union had claimed in their report that the suspect was a registered sex offender.

New York Gov. quoted to CNN, “I have to caution that this is still very much a live investigation. And as more information that can be confirmed is available, we’ll get it out there.”

“It was extraordinary to see how they traced it down to an individual’s home. 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.”

Although the governor did not provide details regarding Ross's previous convictions, public records, as reported by Heavy, indicate that Craig Ross was arrested in 2016 on charges of second-degree aggravated harassment. Subsequently, in 2017, Craig Ross faced arrest and misdemeanor charges of criminal obstruction of breathing.

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

The cops are investigating to find any possible link of the suspect to Charlotte’s family.

Police said in a press release on October 2, “They searched several homes where the suspect was known to live. At about 6:32 p.m. on October 2, 2023, State Police found Charlotte Sena safe and sound. The suspect was arrested.”

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