December 7, 2023

Search resumes for missing 9-year-old girl who vanished during camping trip in upstate New York park

Search resumes for missing 9-year-old girl who vanished during camping trip in upstate New York park

Law enforcement, forest rangers and others resumed searching an upstate New York park on Monday for a 9-year-old girl who vanished during a camping trip over the weekend.

Charlotte Sena may have been abducted while riding her bicycle Saturday evening in Moreau Lake State Park, about 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of Albany, according to the state police.

The girl’s family pleaded with the public for help in finding Charlotte, including providing any tips to the state police.

“We just want her returned safely like any parent would,” the family said in a statement. “No tip is too small, please call if you know anything at all.”

About 400 people took part in the search Monday, up from more than 100 the day before, state police said. The searchers included state and local police, forest rangers, local volunteer firefighters, and some private search and rescue groups, officials said. Authorities also requested help from the FBI.

The search expanded over 46 linear miles (74 linear kilometers) by Monday, state police said.

Troopers set up several checkpoints on the rural roads around the park. They stopped drivers and asked if they knew the family, had seen the girl’s photo or had any other information. They also had some drivers open their trunks.

The park remained closed because of the search, and officials asked members of the public who showed up hoping to help to stay away and leave the search to professionals. Federal authorities also issued a temporary flight restriction over the park for the safety of law enforcement air operations.

“Charlotte is a bright and adventurous girl who loves to be outside,” state police said in a statement. “Charlotte has a huge heart and wants to create a club at her school for kids who don’t have friends. She always put others first. Please know that we continue to work around the clock to bring Charlotte home.”

Charlotte, a fourth grader from nearby Greenfield, had been riding her bike around a campsite loop in the bucolic park with other children when she decided to ride around one more time by herself. Her parents became alarmed when she failed to return after 15 minutes, Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a briefing Sunday.

The girl’s mother called 911 after her bicycle was found at around 6:45 p.m. Saturday.

Officials issued an Amber Alert on Sunday morning after an exhaustive search because “it was quite possible that an abduction had taken place,” state police Lt. Colonel Richard Mazzone said. The alert described her as a white girl with blonde hair and green eyes who is about 4 feet 6 inches tall (1.37 meters).

She was last seen wearing an orange tie-dye Pokemon shirt, dark blue pants, black Crocs and a grey bike helmet.

The Corinth Central School District said it had extra counselors at Charlotte’s elementary school for any students or staff who need support.

“Our hearts go out to the Sena family,” the district said in a statement.

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