In a heartwarming turn of events, a missing 9-year-old Upstate New York girl, Charlotte Sena, was found safe and in good health during the evening hours of Monday, October 2, ending a two-day search that gripped the nation with worry.

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul, announced at a press conference that Charlotte was discovered in the most unexpected of places — inside a cabinet in a camper belonging to the suspect.

The unprecedented breakthrough came after the suspect, 47-year-old Craig Nelson Ross Jr., allegedly and unknowingly left his fingerprint on a ransom note that he dropped off in the mailbox of the Sena family's home at 4:28 a.m. on Monday, October 2. Law enforcement authorities were able to match the fingerprint to Ross from an arrest for a DWI in 1999, leading them to his whereabouts and ultimately to Charlotte's rescue.

Craig Ross Jr. was arraigned by Justice Tim Brown at Milton Town Court at approximately 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 3, the alleged abduction of  Sena. Ross has been charged with kidnapping and was taken to an area jail without bail. Ross is next scheduled to appear in court on October 17 at 10:30 a.m.

Governor Hochul described the emotional moment of the rescue at the press conference, noting that it was every parent's worst nightmare. Officers spotted Ross leaving the ransom note but were unable to apprehend him immediately. However, with the assistance of cell tower data and evidence from past criminal records, they were able to hone in on a property that Ross visited often, a property with a double-wide house where his mother lived, and a camper behind it.

Law enforcement successfully apprehended Ross and immediately discovered Charlotte hiding in a cabinet, covered but unharmed. The little girl was safely rescued and reunited with her parents at a nearby hospital.  According to Governor Hochul, Charlotte was aware that she was being saved and felt she was in safe hands.

Describing the incident as nothing short of extraordinary, Governor Hochul expressed her gratitude to the law enforcement agencies and the community for their support. The focus of authorities now shifts to determining the nature of Ross's connection to Charlotte and what his motives were behind the abduction.

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Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

These 12 Vulnerable Adults Are Missing From Upstate New York

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Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

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