Suspect in kidnapping of 9-year-old Charlotte Sena in upstate New York identified

Saratoga County Jail

(NEW YORK) — A 47-year-old man charged with kidnapping 9-year-old Charlotte Sena at an upstate New York park and allegedly holding her in the cabinet of a camper he lived in next to his mother’s home has been identified by authorities.

Craig N. Ross Jr. is being held without bail Tuesday morning at the Saratoga County Correctional Facility on a charge of first-degree kidnapping, according to jail officials.

Charlotte was abducted from the Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County, New York, on Saturday evening, according to New York State Police. She disappeared around dinnertime on Saturday, while out riding her bike in the campground alone, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

The girl’s family and other campers went looking for her, and her mother found her bike around 6:45 p.m. Saturday and called 911, police said. An Amber Alert was issued for the missing child Saturday night and an intense search involving up to 400 local, state and federal law enforcement officers was conducted at the sprawling park.

Hochul said at a Monday night news conference that the big break in the three-day search for the missing girl came early Monday morning, apparently from the suspect himself. At 4:20 a.m. a car pulled up to the Sena family’s home and what turned out to be a ransom note was left in the mailbox, Hochul said.

State police had been guarding the home while Sena’s parents were still at the campsite and discovered the note, Hochul said. They found a fingerprint that was later linked to a DWI from 1999 in Saratoga, the governor said.

Following what Hochul described as more research and detective work, officials located a double-wide house where the suspect’s mother lived and learned that Ross was staying in the camper behind the residence.

“After some resistance, the suspect was taken into custody,” Hochul said.

Charlotte was immediately discovered in a cabinet, the governor said. The fourth-grader was found in “good health,” according to police.

“She knew that she was being rescued. She knew that she was in safe hands,” Hochul said.

Hochul added, “She’ll be going home. That’s the story. Charlotte will be going home.”

Authorities notified her parents at 6:32 p.m. ET.

“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 families, friends, volunteers,” the Sena family said in a statement.

Ross of Ballston Spa, New York, has been charged with kidnapping in the first degree, an A-1 felony.

Following his arrest, Ross was questioned at the New York State Police barracks in Latham, New York, and then arraigned at the Milton Town Court. Details of the suspect’s interrogation were not released.

Additional charges are anticipated, officials said.

ABC News’ Darren Reynolds and Stephanie Ramos contributed to this story.


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