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Amber Alert issued for 9-year-old Charlotte Sena, last seen camping with family in Upstate New York

Fingerprint on ransom note led police to missing girl in Upstate New York
Fingerprint on ransom note led police to missing girl in Upstate New York 02:33

Editor's note: Charlotte Sena was found safe Monday night Oct. 2, 2023. Below is the article as it appeared before she was found. 

MOREAU, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul said it is "every parent's nightmare," after a 9-year-old girl disappeared from a popular New York State park on Saturday night.

State police issued an AMBER Alert, and raised the possibility the child was abducted.

Charlotte Sena has been missing a little more than 24 hours. A massive effort is ongoing near Saratoga Springs to locate her.

Jené Sena beseeched the public for help locating her niece.

"No tip is insignificant, so if anyone has any information at all ...," she said. "She is a blonde, adorable 9-year-old little girl with bangs. She has green eyes, just under 5 feet tall and she is just a sweet, adorable girl."

Charlotte's mother, Trisha, told the Albany Times Union her daughter is a very trusting girl, adding, "I just want my daughter back."

The governor offered an update Sunday after meeting with the missing girl's family.

"As a mother, a grandmother, I cannot imagine the pain they are going through," Hochul said.

The governor's somber demeanor reflected the high concern for the safety of the 9-year-old, who vanished from Moreau Lake State Park, which is 190 miles north of New York City.

Charlotte and her family were camping in an area known as "Loop A." She had been riding her bike with friends and then decided to do one more loop, alone.

Google Street View shows the loop is a paved road that passes through a heavily wooded area.

"Literally 15 minutes later, hadn't come back. That's when the nightmare begins," Hochul said.

State police promptly initiated a search that lasted hours, employing dogs, drones and boats.

Fears were growing that Charlotte was abducted.

"After that exhaustive search, when we couldn't find her, it's quite possible that an abduction had taken place," Lt. Col. Richard Mazzone said.

The governor said work to pinpoint people who might have encountered Charlotte includes specialized technology.

"We brought in tech experts to analyze other forms of communication in the park at that time," Hochul said.

"I really don't want to get into the cameras and technological aspects of our investigation and search, but I can assure you, as the governor mentioned, we are doing everything we can to reunite Charlotte with her family," Mazzone said.

CBS New York was told the family and other people camping at the park searched for Charlotte for about 30 minutes before calling 911 at 6:47 p.m. on Saturday. Police did find her bicycle.

She just turned 9 a month ago. She is a fourth grader who was just elected to student council.

The governor said state police will spare no effort to locate her.

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