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The New York Man suspected of kidnapping a 9-year-old girl from a state park in New York has been charged with rape.
Craig Ross Jr., 47, was initially charged with only first-degree kidnapping after allegedly abducting the young girl, Charlotte Sena, from Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County, New York, on September 30. Sena was found safe inside the cabinet of a camper belonging to the suspect.
Ross is now believed to have raped the young girl while holding her for two days before she was found, according to prosecutors.
Earlier that day, Ross allegedly placed a ransom note containing his fingerprints in the Sena family’s mailbox. The fingerprints were entered into a database and came back as a match for Ross, who had a previous arrest in 1999 for DWI.
“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,” New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul said after Sena was found.
Two law enforcement teams then took helicopters to land at the address where Ross lived in a camper behind his mother’s house. “After some resistance,” Hochul said, Ross was arrested.
“Immediately the little girl was found in a cabinet cupboard,” Hochul said. “She was rescued and she knew she was being rescued. She knew that she was in safe hands.”
It is unclear whether this was random or if Ross targeted Sena specifically, investigators said. He does live just two miles away from her family.
“But it is not known at this time, whether he knew her or had her under surveillance for any length of time,” Hochul said.
Sena was camping with her family over the weekend when she rode her bike around Loop A of the park, at first with family friends and then once by herself. When she didn’t return after 15 minutes, her parents and others began searching for her, finding only her bike. Her parents then called 911.
The search for Sena included more than 400 personnel and 75 law enforcement officials on the ground, including NY State Police K-9s and bloodhounds.