Charlotte CenaA 9-year-old girl who went missing while on a camping trip in a New York state park two days ago has been found safe and a suspect is in custody, authorities said Monday evening.
Before she was found, Charlotte’s parents received a rescue note at their home, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday evening.
In a late-night press conference, the governor outlined the meticulous work of officers after they discovered the note — and the crucial piece of evidence that led to a break in the case.
Hochul said the break in the case occurred around 4:20 a.m. Monday when the suspect went to Charlotte’s parents’ home and left a ransom note in the mailbox.
“He actually went to the family’s mailbox, assuming they weren’t home,” Hochul said, adding that Charlotte’s parents were still at the campground looking for their daughter.
The family’s home was being monitored by state police, but officers were dispatched to another call in the area when the suspect dropped a note. Police checked the document for fingerprints and searched law enforcement databases.
On their second attempt, the governor said, they obtained results identifying the fingerprints left on the note as those of 47-year-old Craig Nelson Rose, Jr.
Investigators were able to determine that Ross was living in a camper behind his mother’s home and used two SWAT teams to gain entry. “They did what they call a dynamic entry tactical maneuver, and they found the suspect inside the camper,” Hochul said.
Police say he resisted arrest and suffered minor injuries. They found Charlotte hidden in a cabinet in the camper, Hochul said. “She knew she was being rescued,” the governor said. “She knew she was in safe hands.”
Charlotte appeared to be in good health but was taken to hospital, which the governor said was “routine”.
Ross was also questioned on Monday night. “At this time, charges have not been brought, but they are fully expected,” Hochul said.
The governor previously told CNN that cell phone pings from people in the area where Charlotte was last seen helped authorities locate her.
“They checked all the cell phones that were near this park,” he said. Officials also received information from campers who came to the park as they had to register and paid entry fees for those who were there on the day.
“So, you can circle around the suspects based on the cell phone data that’s in the park and, ultimately, the ransom note,” he said.
A combination of those factors led authorities to the suspect — and to Charlotte, he told CNN.
“It’s extraordinary to see how they found it in an individual’s home,” Hochul added. “The home was surrounded by law enforcement and helicopters, and they were able to bring her to safety. A short time later, she was in her parents’ arms at a hospital.
Charlotte, who was camping with her family at Moreau Lake State Park, did not return from a dinnertime bike ride with close friends, authorities said.
Charlotte was last seen at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, riding her bike through a loop in the park. He had done a few loops with friends and wanted to do one by himself, Hochul said at a Sunday news conference. Police said the spin would take five minutes.
Her mother reported her missing around 6:45 p.m., after Charlotte’s bike was found on the curb without her, New York State Police Lt. Col. Richard Mazzone said.
Mazzone said authorities fear Charlotte may have been abducted after not being able to locate her nearby.
“Once they found her bike during that search, they realized she wasn’t on it, she wasn’t very far, she wasn’t lost. Something is wrong,” CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller said earlier.
Spectrum News Albany
Charlotte Sena was riding her bike in a state park when she disappeared.
Police canceled on Monday Amber Alert That was published on Sunday morning.
“We are so thankful to the @nyspolice @NYStateParks police and all of our partners who worked tirelessly to find Charlotte and make sure she returned home safely to her family,” Hochul said on social media after Charlotte was found.
State police previously said the number of people searching for Charlotte had risen to 400 as of Monday morning. Those who assisted included 34 volunteer fire departments and private groups, as well as federal, state and local law enforcement.
Officials said the search area stretched over 46 linear miles before he was found.
The most popular state park, about 45 miles north of Albany, covers more than 6,200 acres and is “set among hardwood forests, pine stands and rocky ridges.” Department of Environmental Protection.
A Missing and Endangered National Center
Police said Charlotte Sena went for a bike ride with her friends around dinner time on Saturday evening and did not return.
Morrow Lake State Park said in a Facebook registration It is closed until further notice.