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Crime News

Charlotte Sena Kidnapping Suspect Possibly Eyed in Unsolved Killings of Two New York Teens

Jennifer “Moonbeam” Hammond, 18, and Christina N. White, 19, vanished in 2003 and 2005 from Saratoga County, New York.

By Dorian Geiger
A police handout of Craig N Ross Jr

The man charged this week in 9-year-old Charlotte Sena's abduction is facing possible police scrutiny in the unsolved homicide investigations of two New York teenagers. 

Craig N. Ross Jr., 47, who is accused in Charlotte’s campground kidnapping last weekend from upstate New York, could be a potential person of interest in the separate killings of a pair of teen girls who disappeared in 2003 and 2005, according to Albany newspaper the Times Union

RELATED: 9-Year-Old Who Disappeared During Bike Ride Found Safe, Suspect Arrested

Jennifer “Moonbeam” Hammond, 18, and Christina N. White, 19, both vanished from Saratoga County mobile parks in Milton in close proximity to one another and near where Ross and his family have lived for years, the newspaper reported. 

Hammond, who was originally from Colorado but was working as a magazine salesperson in the Albany area, vanished in 2003. Her skull was later discovered in a wooded area in the town of Greenfield, New York. White disappeared in June 2005. Her partial skeletal remains were discovered a year later, also in Greenfield, roughly eight miles from her family home. She’d been fatally stabbed.

No one has been charged in either murder.

Police handouts of Jennifer Hammond and Christina White

This week, Saratoga County investigators refused to confirm or deny a possible link to Ross in either investigation. But officials investigating the Hammond and White cases have previously suggested the two killings could have been carried out by the same person, largely due to the proximity of the crime scenes for both victims.  

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

“At this time, we have no information to indicate that he was or was not involved,” Saratoga County Sheriff’s Investigator Matthew Robinson said in a statement, according to the Times Union. “I can tell you that one of the investigative steps that we will take with regards to the ongoing investigation around Mr. Ross will be any association he has with any major case in the area. And that is something that we are actively working on. But at this time, we have no information to indicate that he is involved in any of those (two) cases.”

Oxygen.com has reached out to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office for further information. 

Charlotte vanished while riding her bicycle during a camping trip at Moreau Lake State Park in upstate New York on September 30. The 9-year-old girl was later found “safe and in good health,” authorities said, after fingerprints on a ransom note left in her family’s mailbox linked Ross to the kidnapping. 

According to state officials, Ross’ name had been in a database stemming from a 1999 intoxicated driving case. Ross was later arrested by SWAT teams in a camper. Investigators found Charlotte in a cabinet inside the RV trailer. 

Hundreds of people, including forest rangers, police officers and firefighters, had scoured more than 46 miles of territory in the aftermath of the child’s disappearance, which made national headlines. An Amber Alert was also issued and Moreau Lake State Park was closed while officials searched for Charlotte.  

“We just want her returned safely like any parent would,” Charlotte’s family said in a statement on Monday prior to her rescue. “No tip is too small, please call if you know anything at all.”

RELATED: Everything to Know About Polly Klaas, the Girl Kidnapped from a Slumber Party and Killed

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul later commended state authorities’ quick police work in recovering the abducted child.

“What happened was extraordinary,” Hochul said.

Ross was arraigned on Monday on first-degree kidnapping charges in connection with Charlotte’s alleged abduction, according to the New York Post. Further charges are expected, law enforcement officials said.

Ross was also previously charged with choking somebody during a domestic dispute more than six years ago, police records show.

On April 21, 2017, Ross was taken into police custody after he allegedly strangled an unidentified victim amid a “physical domestic dispute,” NBC News reported, citing arrest records. Authorities at the time said Ross “applied pressure on the throat of the victim during the altercation."

He was ultimately charged with misdemeanor criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.