A SUSPECT in the abduction of a nine-year-old girl has been snared by cops after allegedly leaving a ransom note in her parents' mailbox.
Craig Ross Jr., 47, was arrested on Monday after troopers stormed his camper two days after Charlotte Sena vanished.
A fingerprint that was found on a ransom note led to Sena being rescued.
She was discovered hidden in a cabinet on the property, with Governor Kathy Hochul confirming the chilling details at a press conference on Monday night.
The little girl, who is said to be in good health, had been riding her bike at Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County, 48 minutes north of Albany, the capital of New York, when she disappeared on Saturday.
A desperate search to find her lasted over two days – but what happened next "was extraordinary," Hochul told reporters.
The case started to crack at 4:20am on Monday, when a man in a car pulled up to a mailbox in front of the Sena's family home that was being guarded by police.
"He drove up to the family's mailbox assuming they were not at home," Hochul explained.
"(He) opens the mailbox, enters the ransom note, leaving a critical piece of information behind – the ransom note."
Fingerprints were discovered on the note, with one matching that of Ross Jr.
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They were able to match the prints with a DWI arrest from 1999, leading them to an address where the suspect was living.
Hochul said Ross Jr. was found living in a camper behind the home.
Moments later, Sena was discovered.
"The little girl was found in a cabinet, covered," Hochul said.
"She knew that she was being rescued. She knew that she was in safe hands.
"Her parents were immediately notified at 6.32pm."
After some resistance, Ross Jr, who cops have confirmed is not a registered sex offender, was detained and brought into custody.
Charges have not been brought yet, but they are "fully expected," Hochul said.
The Governor thanked first responders and the community effort that brought Charlotte back.
"Tonight our prayers have been answered," she said.
Sena's family was staying in the Southeast corner of the park, in a campground area known as Loop A.
She was biking with other children at the campsite on Saturday night, before deciding to take one more trip around the loop alone.
Her parents, David and Trisha Sena, went looking for her just 15 minutes later, at around 6.15pm, but she was nowhere to be found, leaving her bike behind.
Speaking before the school-aged girl was found, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said her parents, "knew immediately something was up," when Charlotte didn't come home.
"They called her name. People started searching, people from other campgrounds joined," the governor added.
"And 30 minutes later, at 6:47, Charlotte's mother, Trisha, called 911."
"The scene was chaotic with people leaving their tables, and everyone joining the search and calling the name Charlotte."
Authorities immediately began searching for the girl, leading over 400 people including state and local police, forest rangers, local volunteer firefighters, and private search and rescue groups to come together.
New York State Police sent out an Amber Alert on Sunday as they suspected Charlotte was likely abducted.
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The alert was canceled when Sena was found on Monday.
The Governor called the kidnapping "every parent's worst nightmare."
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