In a dramatic turn of events, a ransom note left at the family home played a pivotal role in the rescue of 9-year-old Charlotte Sena, who had gone missing during a family camping trip in upstate New York.
The note, discovered in the family’s mailbox at approximately 4:20 a.m. on Monday, became a crucial piece of evidence in the search for Charlotte. Law enforcement utilized fingerprints found on the ransom note to identify the suspect, 47-year-old Craig Nelson Ross Jr. In addition, cell phone pings from the campground were traced back to the suspect.
Following these leads, authorities located Ross at a property featuring a residence and a camper in the backyard. While Ross’s mother occupied the house, Ross himself resided in the camper. Astonishingly, Charlotte was found concealed inside a cabinet within the camper.
Governor Kathy Hochul of New York expressed the young girl’s relief, stating, “She knew she was being rescued. She knew that she was in safe hands.”
As of the latest update, Ross was still under interrogation, and charges had not yet been filed. However, Hochul indicated that charges were anticipated.
Charlotte appeared to be physically unharmed but was taken to a local hospital for a routine examination.
Although Ross lived approximately 2 miles from Charlotte’s residence, it remains uncertain whether he had any prior connection to the family or if he had been monitoring the 9-year-old.
Hochul revealed that it seemed the suspect had personally delivered the ransom note. “He literally drove up to the family’s mailbox,” the governor stated, highlighting a critical piece of evidence left behind—the suspect’s own fingerprint.
The search for Charlotte had been an extensive operation, involving over 100 individuals dedicated to locating her. She had gone missing while bike riding at Moreau Lake State Park.
Hochul expressed immense relief and gratitude, remarking, “Our prayers have been answered.”
The investigation is ongoing, as authorities explore potential connections between Ross and any other cases.