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Kidnapping Suspect Left Ransom Note in Family's Mailbox - It Led Police Right to Him, 9-Year-Old Girl

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A 46-year-old man is in New York state’s Saratoga County jail after police arrested him Monday in connection with the kidnapping of 9-year-old Charlotte Sena.

Craig Ross was arraigned on a charge of first-degree kidnapping in Milton Town Court early Tuesday and jailed without bail at about 3:40 a.m., according to the Albany Times-Union.

Charlotte had gone missing Saturday when her family was at the Moreau Lake State Park, about 45 miles north of Albany. On Sunday, an Amber Alert was issued for her.

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New York State Police who were watching the family’s home saw a man put a ransom note in the mailbox outside the home, Gov. Kathy Hochul said, according to Fox News.

“He literally drove up to the family’s mailbox, assuming they were not home [at] 4:20 in the morning, opens the mailbox and inserts the ransom note leaving the critical piece of evidence behind — his own fingerprint,” Hochul said, according to the New York Post.

Police began examining the note for fingerprints. According to Fox, one person of interest was not a match, but a second individual’s prints were found that matched those of a man arrested on a driving under the influence charge in Saratoga County in 1999, according to Fox.

At about 2 p.m. on Monday, as searchers were combing the woods of the vast state park, police matched prints on the note to the fingerprints of Ross, the Times-Union reported.

Late Monday afternoon, multiple police units including the New York State Police and the FBI conducted raids on locations linked to Ross, including a mobile home where Ross’s mother lives and a nearby trailer where the girl was found.

The location in Milton, near Saratoga Springs, was about 13 miles from the girl’s home.

“Within the camper they located the suspect,” Hochul said, according to Fox.

“After some resistance, the suspect was taken into custody, and immediately the little girl was found in a cabinet, covered. She was rescued.”

“She knew she was being rescued,” Hochul said, according to The New York Times. “She knew she was in safe hands.”

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Charlotte was taken to a hospital where she and her family were reunited, according to Fox.

“We are just elated she came home,” Jene Sena, Charlotte’s aunt, said, according to Fox.

Patrick Kane, a family friend, had said the incident was out of character for the rural area.

“This stuff doesn’t happen here,” he said, while proclaiming even before Charlotte’s rescue that she would come home.

“God’s going to bring her back home. I know that. I mean, it may not be today, and I don’t know what kind of circumstances she’s under right now, but I hopefully it’s something that she can deal with the rest of her life because she’s coming back home,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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