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Crime News Missing Persons

Young Girl Feared Abducted after Disappearing During Bike Ride in Upstate New York

Charlotte Sena, 9, was riding her bike during a family camping trip when she went missing. An Amber Alert has been issued.

By Grace Jidoun
Missing child Charlotte Sena

A 9-year-old girl disappeared while on a bike ride during a family camping trip in upstate New York over the weekend and is feared to have been kidnapped, sparking a desperate search to find her.

Charlotte Sena vanished during a bike ride while camping at New York’s Moreau Lake State Park in Gansevoort with her family Saturday evening. The family lives just 15 minutes away in Saratoga County, less than an hour north of Albany. She was last seen on Loop A at 6:15 pm on Saturday while it was still light out, say police. According to a press conference with New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Sunday, Charlotte had been riding bikes with her friends around Loop A at dinnertime and wanted to go by herself once more before returning to her campsite. After fifteen minutes, she didn’t return, and “that’s really where the nightmare begins,” said Hochul.

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Charlotte's parents enlisted fellow campers to search for her, and after finding her bike discarded on Loop A, her mom immediately called 911, said Lt. Col. Richard Mazzone in Sunday’s press conference. By 7 p.m., authorities were at the park, and state troopers, special ops teams, forest rangers, and local police combed the area throughout the night in a search that Mazzone described as “exhaustive.” Police dogs, two boats, two drones, six underwater rescue teams, and technology experts were deployed. Despite these efforts, there was no trace of the girl her parents describe as “joyful.” 

She is “just a really nice girl, the kind that people wanted to be friends with. The kind that looked out for other children, the pride of every parent,” said Hochul in the press conference.

Though the park is still being investigated and is closed to the public, police are casting a wider net. An Amber Alert was issued on Sunday morning “for child abduction,” stating, “The child was taken under circumstances that lead police to believe that they are in imminent danger of serious harm and/or death.” Governor Kathy Hochul described the situation as “every parent’s nightmare.”

When Charlotte disappeared, she wore an orange tie-dyed Pokémon shirt, dark blue pants, black Crocs, and a gray helmet. She has blond hair and is 5’1” and weighs 90 pounds.

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

Anyone with information on the abduction is asked to call the New York State Police or 911.

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