Police have launched a massive search effort after a nine-year-old girl disappeared in upstate New York while riding her bike.
Charlotte Sena has been missing for more than 24 hours after she took a bike ride at around 6.15pm on Saturday evening at Moreau Lake State Park where she was on a camping trip with her family.
Authorities scoured the area for more than 18 hours before issuing an Amber Alert due to fears Charlotte may have been abducted. Her bike was found on Loop A in the park.
When Charlotte – who wanted to do the loop by herself to prove she was “one of the big kids” – failed to return after 15 minutes, her parents and friends began looking. Police were called at around 6.47pm.
After the exhaustive search, they began to fear that an abduction may have taken place.
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Lt. Col. Richard Mazzone said: “After that exhaustive search when we couldn’t find her, it’s quite possible that an abduction had taken place.”
Charlotte’s mother, Trisha Sena, told the Albany Times Union she is a “good kid” and “trusting”.
She said: “I just want my daughter back.”
Charlotte’s aunt Jené Sena took to Facebook to ask members of the public to assist in the search.
She said: “Praying and sharing her photos is the best way anyone can help right now. Right now there are no updates. If there are any major updates, I will be sure to post them here.”
On Sunday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters that the situation was “every parent’s nightmare”.
She said: “The family was here to make memories, the kind that would last a lifetime. Instead, it turned into every parent’s nightmare.”
A more than 100-person search party consisting of state troopers, special ops, forest rangers, park police and civilian volunteers spent 18 hours looking for Charlotte to no avail before an Amber Alert was issued.
Mazzone said authorities will continue to search the area while aquatic teams have been deployed to analyze nearby waterways.
He said: “We continue to dedicate all the resources that we can to find Charlotte and bring her home safe.”
Charlotte has been described as a caucasian child with blonde hair who stands at five foot, one inch, weighing around 90 pounds.
She was last seen wearing dark blue pants, an orange tie-dye Pokemon shirt, black Crocs and a gray bike helmet.
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