Porch lights are being left on across the Saratoga, New York, area as police race against time to find 9-year-old Charlotte Sena, who they believe was abducted while bike riding in a park where her family was camping.
Moreau Lake State Park was closed to the public as the FBI joined scores of other law enforcement agencies using sonar, drones, and bloodhounds to search for any trace of the fourth grader.
Meanwhile, Charlotte’s friends and family were urging the public to share her photo and expressing disbelief that she could have been snatched in the few minutes she was happily riding on a trail loop by herself.
“When I try to eat, I feel guilty and sick because only God knows when the last time it was that she ate. When I try to sleep, I feel restless because she has a warm bed that she should be sleeping in,” a cousin wrote on social media.
“I hold my children and feel absolutely helpless, knowing that her mother, my cousin, should be holding all 3 of her beautiful girls at night. God, please bring her home. Please just end this nightmare.”
Charlotte’s aunt, Jené Sena, said in a TikTok that she appreciated the outpouring of support—from the symbolic porch lights to neighborhood vigils and messages of hope.
“I you can keep sharing her photo and praying... that is really the best that the family can ask of anyone at this time,” she said Sunday night. “The police are doing their job, they know what they’re doing.”
Charlotte, her parents, and two sisters joined close family friends for a two-night camping trip to Moreau, a 6,000-acre park in Saratoga County.
On Saturday evening, she was biking around the loop with friends so close she thought of them as cousins—then told them she wanted to do one loop by herself.
When she didn't return after 15 minutes, her parents went out looking for her—and soon other campers joined in, fanning out and yelling her name. Police arrived quickly but there was no sign of Charlotte except for her abandoned bike.
A missing person alert was issued and the next morning, after overnight searches proved fruitless, an Amber Alert warning of “imminent danger” to Charlotte went out.
New York State Police said the amount of time she had been gone with no clues suggesting she had wandered off on her own and was lost led them to believe she was kidnapped.
Local residents converged on the park Monday, hoping to help with the search, but law enforcement kept them outside for the time being. A prayer gathering for Mount Zion Church in Gansevoort was scheduled for Monday night.
On Sunday, Trisha Sena, Charlotte’s mother, told the Albany Times Union that her middle child is a “trusting” child.
“I just want my daughter back,” she said.