New York State Police said they believe a 9-year-old girl who vanished while camping with her family in Moreau Lake State Park has been kidnapped.
Charlotte Sena, last seen wearing a pink Pokemon t-shirt, has not been seen since 6:15 p.m. on Saturday when she broke off from her cousins to bike a lap of the trail loop by herself.
“It wasn’t dark,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a Sunday afternoon press briefing. But after 15 minutes, Charlotte had not returned to her campsite “and that’s really when the nightmare begins.”
An Amber Alert was issued for Charlotte—citing “imminent danger of serious harm and or death”—but not until hours after her family reported her missing after they went to look for her and found her bike abandoned.
More than 1srcsrc law enforcement officers and other workers were on scene, using sonar, drones, an airboat, and bloodhounds to search for Charlotte.
“We felt that after an exhaustive search, when we couldn’t find her here, that it was quite possible an abduction had taken place,” Lt. Col. Richard Mazzone said at a Sunday afternoon press briefing with Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Trisha Sena, the girl’s mother, told the Albany Times Union that Charlotte is a “trusting”child.
“I just want my daughter back,” she said.
Hochul said she had met with Charlotte’s parents and that “as a mother and a grandmother I cannot imagine the pain they are going through.”
She said the fourth grader is a “joyful” child who had just been elected to the Student Council at her school in Saragota County, where she lives with her parents and two sisters.
“Everybody thought of her as just a really nice girl…the kind who looked after other children,” Hochul said.
“Hearts are broken today here in New York,” she added. “Hopefully there will be a reunion.”