Dozens Search for Girl Who Disappeared Camping With Family Upstate


Authorities in New York were engaged in a frantic search for a missing 9-year-old girl on Sunday after she disappeared during an early evening bike ride in a state park north of Albany on Saturday.

The girl, Charlotte Sena, was last seen in Moreau Lake State Park, a popular area with a public beach on a small lake, where she was with her family and friends on a weekend camping trip.

At a midday news conference, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Charlotte had been riding bikes with friends on a loop road a little after 6 p.m. on Saturday when she decided to go around one more time by herself.

What happened next, Ms. Hochul said, “turned into every parent’s nightmare” when the child did not return, prompting a wide search of the area by both volunteers and a crush of State Police officers, using bloodhounds and aviation units.

“Her parents knew immediately something was up,” Ms. Hochul said. People began searching for her, Ms. Hochul said, with those from other campgrounds soon joining the effort.

Credit…Jene Sena

Since then, the governor said the state had employed rangers, drones and underwater search teams, all to no avail. “We are leaving no stone, no branch, no table, no cabin unturned, untouched, unexamined in our search to find Charlotte,” Ms. Hochul said.

Lt. Colonel Richard Mazzone, the assistant deputy superintendent of the New York State Police, said Charlotte’s bike had been found not long after she was last seen, raising the possibility of an abduction, an assertion echoed by an Amber Alert issued on Sunday morning.

Lt. Mazzone said that state police had searched local waterways and that they were continuing to search the woods and areas around the loop where Charlotte was last seen. On Sunday morning, more than 100 officials had been deployed, the governor said, with dozens of law enforcement officers combing the park, even as boats — including one with sonar — searched the lake.

F.B.I. agents and state criminal investigators were also on the scene, as were members of the Schenectady firefighting community. Charlotte is the niece of a member of the Schenectady Fire Department, the governor said.

Officials described Charlotte as a white girl with blond hair and green eyes. She is approximately 4 feet 6 inches tall, and she was last seen wearing dark blue pants with an orange tie-dye Pokémon T-shirt, black Croc sandals and a gray bike helmet. She lives in Greenfield, N.Y., about 15 miles from the park.

In her remarks, Ms. Hochul presented a terrifying scenario unfolding “on a picture-perfect fall day” while pleading for the safety of “a really nice girl,” a fourth grader who recently had been elected as an officer of her school’s student council.

“I promised her parents we’ll find their daughter,” the governor said. “She’s all of our daughters.”


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