ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -With the safe return of Charlotte Sena, the AMBER Alert that warned the public of her abduction was canceled. Some have asked why it took some 15 hours to put out an AMBER Alert Sunday morning when Charlotte went missing Saturday evening.
Charlotte Sena was found two days into her disappearance from Moreau Lake State Park. The investigation involved over 400 law enforcement officers and first responders, but the case took some time to get to that size. Certain criteria must be met before an AMBER Alert can be sent out.
“We have to try to confirm that it’s an abduction. You have to try and confirm the child is in danger. At the scene that night, we had no evidence of an abduction,” explained Deputy Superintendent-Field Command of the New York State Police, Colonel Richard S. Allen.
Former FBI Agent, Stuart Kaplan, says more than 400,000 children were reported missing throughout the United States in 2023. That would mean over 1,000 notifications a day to phones when most kids return home. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says stranger abductions made up 0.35% of missing child cases in 2022.
Disappearances due to kidnappings have seen higher recovery rates in recent years. Just Great Lawyers reported an increase from 62% in 1990 to a 97% recovery rate in 2011. Former FBI Agent Kaplan says this is due to tracking cellular pings of suspects.
Charlotte was found in good health and is with her family. As the investigation continues, she will eventually be asked more about her kidnapping. The accused kidnapper, Craig Ross Jr., is being held at the Saratoga County Jail. “We don’t want to traumatize her any more than what she’s already been traumatized here,” stated Allen.