9-Year-Old Who Vanished While Camping Is Found Safe

New York State Police say a suspect is in custody
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2023 12:05 AM CDT
Updated Oct 2, 2023 6:20 PM CDT
9-Year-Old Biked Solo Loop at Campground, Vanished
Amber Alert for Charlotte Sena.   (New York State Police/X)
UPDATE Oct 2, 2023 6:20 PM CDT

The search for a New York girl who disappeared while on a family camping trip has ended in relief. "Charlotte Sena has been located and in good health," New York State Police said Monday evening in a statement, per ABC News. "A suspect is in custody." Officials provided no other information, saying only that the investigation of the girl's disappearance remains active.

Oct 2, 2023 12:05 AM CDT

A 9-year-old who New York State Police believe was abducted while camping with her family on Saturday night could be in extreme danger, they say. Charlotte Sena was last seen while biking at Saratoga County's Moreau Lake State Park around 6:15pm. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Mazzone said Sunday that an "exhaustive search" of the park led law enforcement to conclude it was "quite possible" the 4th grader was taken. An Amber Alert issued Sunday morning states "the child was taken under circumstances that lead police to believe that they are in imminent danger of serious harm and/or death," NBC News reports.

Gov. Kathy Hochul told reporters Charlotte was biking Loop A of the park with family friends and asked that she be allowed to do one more loop solo. When she hadn't returned 15 minutes later, her parents and others started searching for her; Charlotte's bike was found alongside the loop at 6:45pm. State police arrived by 7pm, and a massive search has followed since involving more than 100 people, aviation and underwater rescue teams, bloodhounds, and drones, reports CNN. Hochul said technology experts are working "to analyze other forms of communications in the park at that time."

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"On a picture-perfect fall day here in upstate New York, Charlotte Sena's family and friends gathered for a weekend of friendship and food and enjoying one of the last few days of good weather," Hochul added, per the Saratogian. "And they came to this beautiful scenic state park ... literally 15 minutes from where Charlotte and her two sisters were raised. ... They're here to make memories, the kind that lasts a lifetime. But instead, the day turned into every parent's nightmare." Her family said in a statement that "we just want her returned safely like any parent would. No tip is too small, please call if you know anything at all." Charlotte is described as wearing an orange tie-dye Pokemon shirt, dark blue pants, black Crocs, and a grey bike helmet. (More missing child stories.)

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