More than 100 people, bloodhounds and drones are part of the massive search for 9-year-old Charlotte Sena, who was last seen more than a day ago in upstate New York, authorities said.
Sena, of Greenfield, New York, was camping with her family in nearby Moreau Lake State Park when she set off for a bike ride around dinnertime and failed to return, Governor Kathy Hochul said in a press conference Sunday.
“They camped, they cooked out and they’re here to make memories, the kind that lasts a lifetime, Hochul said. “But instead, the day turned into every parent’s nightmare.”
Newsweek reached out via email to Hochul’s office and Facebook to Sena’s family on Sunday for comment.
The governor said the nightmare began when Sena was riding bikes with close friends at roughly 6:15 p.m. when she decided she wanted to “be that big girl” and do one more loop by herself.
When Sena didn’t return from what should have been a quick 15-minute ride, her family went looking for her, Hochul said, adding that other campers joined in the search.
Sena’s bike was discovered on the loop she had been riding on at roughly 6:45 p.m., and her mother called state police two minutes later to report the 9-year-old missing, New York State Police (NYSP) Lt. Colonel Richard L. Mazzone said in the news conference.
NYSP arrived at the state park by 7 p.m. and launched a widespread search for the girl over the next 18 hours with the help of forest rangers, aviation and underwater rescue teams and dogs. Technology experts have also been called in to analyze “other forms of communications in the park at that time,” Hochul said.
“We are leaving no stone, no branch, no table, no cabin unturned, untouched, unexamined in our search to find Charlotte,” the governor said. “If you know anything, if you’ve seen anything, if you hear anything, please contact 911 to tell us what you know.”
When the “exhaustive search” in the state park failed to find Sena, an AMBER alert was activated on Sunday, Mazzone said.
“When we couldn’t find her here, it was quite possible that an abduction had taken place,” he said.
A spokesperson for the NYSP told Newsweek in an email on Sunday evening that there were no updates or additional details at the time.
The park where Sena was camping with her family, Moreau Lake State Park, is in Saratoga County and spans more than 4,600 acres of “hardwood forests, pine stands and rocky ridges,” according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. The state park, which is closed until further notice, is about 45 miles north of Albany.
Sena was last seen wearing an orange tie-dyed Pokémon shirt, blue pants, black Crocs and a grey bike helmet, according to a description provided by the NYSP. She is White with blonde hair, about 4′ 6″ tall, with green eyes, police said. Sena is a fourth-grade student who was recently elected to be a class officer for student council, Hochul said, adding that Sena’s parents described their daughter as “joyful.”
“Hearts are broken here today in New York,” Hochul said. “Hopefully there’ll be a reunion. Hopefully there’ll be a family that has been traumatized but is reunited. That is our prayer and our hope at this time.”