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A 9-year-old girl went missing Saturday night in upstate New York after going for a bike ride — Monday night she was found by authorities in a 47-year-old man’s camper trailer hiding in a cupboard.
The suspect, Craig Nelson Ross Jr., was arrested that night and charged with first-degree kidnapping Tuesday. Additional charges are likely, according to New York State Police, according to ABC News.
Here’s a timeline of what happened to 9-year-old Charlotte Sena and what will happen next.
Charlotte Sena goes missing
6:15 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 — Charlotte was riding her bike on one of the loops in Moreau Lake State Park in Gansevoort, New York, with friends and decided to do one last loop by herself, the Deseret News reported.
6:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 — Charlotte’s mother reported her missing when she didn’t return and she discovered her bike on the side of the road but no Charlotte, per the Deseret News.
Saturday evening, Sept. 30 — NBC News reported that over 175 law enforcement officials and volunteers, search dogs, two drones, two boats and six underwater rescue teams joined the search to find the young girl.
***AMBER ALERT UPDATED DESCRIPTION*** PLEASE SHARE! NYSP has activated AMBER Alert for a child abduction that occurred near Moreau Lake State Park in Gansevoort, NY at about 6:45 PM on 9/30/2023. Anyone with any information should call the NYSP at (518) 457-6811 or dial 911. pic.twitter.com/vE6YGbdDP9
— NewYorkStatePolice (@nyspolice) October 1, 2023
Amber Alert activated to find Charlotte Sena
Sunday morning, Oct. 1 — an Amber Alert was issued “for a child abduction” describing Charlotte as a white 9-year-old girl with blonde hair and blue eyes.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul holds press conference about Charlotte Sena
Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1 — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul held a press conference urging the public to help find Charlotte.
“They shared with me how joyful their little girl is, a fourth grader just recently elected to be a class officer for student council,” Hochul told NBC News.
The family implored the community to provide any possible information to her whereabouts saying in a statement, “We just want her returned safely like any parent would. No tip is too small, please call if you know anything at all,” per NBC News.
Sunday night, Oct. 1 — More than 400 certified search and rescue personnel searched for Charlotte, combing an area larger than 45 miles, according to CBS News.
Police find 9-year-old Charlotte Sena in 47-year-old man’s camper
4:20 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2 — The suspect dropped off a ransom note in the black mailbox of Charlotte’s home. A state trooper was monitoring the family home and had been closely watching well-wishers and people dropping off food or cards, but the vehicle that dropped the note caught his attention, and he checked the mailbox to find the note, the The New York Times reported.
Monday morning, Oct. 2 — Upon discovering the note, authorities ran the fingerprints left behind by the suspect himself, per CNN.
“He literally drove up to the family’s mailbox, assuming they were not home, 4:20 in the morning, opens the mailbox and inserts the ransom note, leaving a critical piece of evidence behind — his own fingerprint,” Hochul said, per ABC News.
Monday afternoon, Oct. 2 — Following a first failed attempt, law enforcement officials found a match with 47-year-old David Ross Jr., who had been arrested in 1991 for a DWI, according to The New York Times.
Monday evening, Oct. 2 — Authorities found multiple addresses for Ross, but after assembling special tactical teams and an FBI SWAT team, they discovered Ross in a rundown camper behind his mother’s house, The Associated Press reported.
After restraining Ross, who struggled against arrest and sustained minor injuries, they found Charlotte. She was hiding inside a cupboard in the camper trailer, per AP News.
What happens next with Charlotte Ross’s alleged kidnapper?
Tuesday, Oct. 3 — Ross was charged with first degree kidnapping, and authorities say he will likely receive additional charges in the case, according to the Times.
Currently, Ross is being held without bail at Saratoga County Jail and is on the docket to appear in court later this month, per the Times.
He will be represented by Thomas McDougall, who is a public defender in the county assigned to his case, the Times reported.
Charlotte Sena’s family thanked law enforcement, volunteers for rescue
The Sena family released a statement to CBS News, saying:
“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, community, neighbors and hundreds of volunteers who supported us and worked tirelessly to bring Charlotte home.”
They requested privacy at this time following the harrowing last few days.