Charlotte Sena, the missing nine-year-old girl who vanished from a New York park, has been found safe and well, according to authorities.
The alarm was sounded at the weekend after Charlotte disappeared while out riding her bike in Moreau Lake State Park on Saturday evening.
When she failed to return after 15 minutes, her parents – along with fellow campers – started a search. Worryingly, however, she was nowhere to be found, resulting in her family contacting the police.
Over 100 personnel and 75 law enforcement officials were deployed in the effort to find Charlotte. The operation saw the use of dogs, drones, boats and underwater rescue teams.
After an unsettling two days, however, Charlotte’s parents received a ransom note at their home. According to reports, their daughter’s abductor had driven to their property and put the note in their mailbox himself.
“He literally drove up to the family’s mailbox assuming they were not home,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
Police soon tested the ransom note for fingerprints, before searching databases to see if a match could be found.
A second screening tied the fingerprints to one Craig Nelson Ross Jr, 47, following a drink-drive incident registered in 1999.
CNN say that investigators traced the suspect to a camper van behind his mother’s residence and gained entry via the use of two SWAT teams.
“They had what they call a dynamic entry tactical maneuver, and within the camper they located the suspect,” Hochul added.
We love each other. I thought someone needed to say it out loud. Especially tonight. I know they say a picture is…
The rescue team found Charlotte hidden in a cabinet in the camper, while it was confirmed that she was unharmed and “in good health”.
“It was extraordinary to see how they traced it down to an individual’s home,” Gov. Hochul said. “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.”
Thank God Charlotte was found safe and well. I can’t imagine what her family must have been going through!