Craig Nelson Ross Jr., the suspect in the case of 9-year-old Charlotte Sena whowhile on a bike ride in Upstate New York, has been , according to officials.
Law enforcement officials are now piecing together details of her alleged abduction, including a possible motive and any prior connection between Ross and the girl's family.
What happened to Charlotte Sena
The girl went on a bike ride with friends around 6:15 p.m. on Saturday in Moreau Lake State Park, north of Albany. She took one last loop alone and didn't to return, prompting her parents to begin looking for her around 6:30.
Concern heightened when her bicycle was discovered on a trail at approximately 6:45 p.m., leading to a 911 call. New York State Police arrived on the scene by 7 p.m., and an Amber Alert was issued on Sunday, shortly after 9:30 a.m.
Early Monday morning, investigators obtained a lead that ultimately led them to 47-year-old Ross — and to the missing girl.
Missing girl found
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the suspect left behind a crucial piece of evidence.
"He literally drove up to the family's mailbox, assuming they were not home, at 4:20 in the morning. He opened the mailbox and inserted a ransom note, leaving a critical piece of evidence behind — his own fingerprint," Hochul said at a press conference Monday.
Around 2:30 p.m., investigators matched a fingerprint from the note to Ross, whose prints were on file in the state's database.
Authorities discovered Ross in a camper behind his mother's residence in Milton, New York. Hochul said the girl was found hidden in a cabinet cupboard on the premises.
"She knew she was being rescued. She knew she was in safe hands," Hochul said.
"We are thrilled that she is home and we understand that the outcome is not what every family gets," the girl's family said in a statement. "A huge thank you to the FBI, the New York State Police, all of the agencies that were mobilized, all of the families, friends, community, neighbors and hundreds of volunteers who supported us and worked tirelessly to bring Charlotte home."
Ross's car was registered to a residence just two miles away from the Sena family's home.
He is being held without bail in the Saratoga County Correctional Facility, and additional charges are expected, police said Tuesday.
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