Craig Ross Jr. charged with kidnapping 9-year-old Charlotte Sena from Moreau Lake State Park in Upstate New York


Suspect in custody after missing 9-year-old girl found safe Upstate

Suspect in custody after missing 9-year-old girl found safe Upstate


SARATOGA COUNTY, N.Y. — Craig Nelson Ross Jr. was charged with kidnapping overnight in the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl in Upstate New York. 

The girl went missing Saturday morning at Moreau Lake State Park, about 35 miles north of Albany, while riding her bicycle. 

Her family released a statement Tuesday, saying they are “thrilled” she is home.

“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,” the statement continued. 

Watch Gov. Hochul, state police give update on search

Watch: Fingerprints on ransom note led police to missing 9-year-old girl


After finding her abandoned bike, the family called state police, who worked around the clock to bring her home. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul said the family stayed at the campground, while police watched their home. Officers noticed someone drop a note in their mailbox around 4 a.m. Monday. 

State police said they matched fingerprints from the note with Ross, 46, who was in a database from a 1991 DWI case. Police then linked Ross to a property owned by his mother and found him inside a camper around 6:30 p.m.

“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,” Hochul said late Monday night. “The hit came at 2:30 in the afternoon. There had been a DWI in 1999 in the city of Saratoga. A fingerprint was found that matched what was found on the ransom note.”  

The 9-year-old girl was located inside a cabinet. She was said to be physically unharmed and in good health. 

“After some resistance, the suspect was taken into custody. And immediately, a little girl was found in a cabinet cupboard,” said Hochul. “She was rescued and she knew she was being rescued. She knew that she was in safe hands.” 

The governor said the girl was reunited with her family and then taken to a local hospital, as is customary. 

Stick with CBS New York for the latest details in this developing story.

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