Parents’ worst nightmare: 9-year-old disappears at New York campground

Posted at 12:34 PM, October 2, 2023

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. (Court TV and Scripps News Buffalo) — A parent’s worst nightmare played out in upstate New York after police activated an AMBER Alert for a child who went missing in a state park near Saratoga Springs over the weekend.

Police say 9-year-old Charlotte E. Sena of Greenfield, NY, was last seen around 6:15 p.m. Saturday on a riding trail at the Moreau Lake State Park in Gansevoort. She was wearing an orange tie-dye Pokémon shirt, dark blue pants, black Crocs and a gray helmet. She was described as a 5’1 white female with blonde hair, weighing about 90 pounds.

At a press conference at the park Monday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the search was still underway for Charlotte, who was out biking with her cousins at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, the night she went missing.

“It wasn’t dark, it’s right around dinnertime, and [she] did a couple of loops with close friends she considers her cousins. And then she decided after going around, she said she’s finally going around one more time by herself. Be that big girl, do it by herself. Literally 15 minutes later, she hadn’t come back yet. And that’s really when the nightmare begins.”

Police said her family and other people at the park were looking for Charlotte and found her bike after 30 minutes of searching, but Charlotte was nowhere to be found.

At that point, her parents called police. “We felt after that exhaustive search when we couldn’t find her here, it was quite possible an abduction had taken place,” said Lieutenant Colonel Richard Mazzone with State Police.

The state park has shut down while police continue to search the scene, according to a Facebook post by Moreau Lake State Park.

“Right now, there’s over 100 personnel deployed, 75 law enforcement on the ground, the two drones, an airboat search team, six underwater rescue teams, another boat that has sonar,” Governor Hochul said. “We are leaving no stone, no branch, no table, no cabin unturned, untouched, unexamined in our search to find Charlotte.”

Anyone with any information should call the New York State Police at (518) 457-6811 or dial 911.