The aunt of the 9-year-old girl from upstate New York who is believed to have been abducted Saturday, said her niece “disappeared into thin air” in a matter of minutes.
Jene Sena, who spoke to NBC News on Monday, said her niece Charlotte Sena, who vanished while riding her bike by herself Saturday at Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County, said the girl was not alone for long when she disappeared.
“She disappeared almost into thin air. I mean it was, minutes, minutes, between when she was last seen and when she wasn’t there anymore,” Sena said.
Charlotte Sena was camping with her family Saturday when she was last seen around 6:15 p.m., New York State Police said. The child was biking around a park loop with family friends and said she wanted to do one more loop by herself, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a news conference.
Her parents and other campers launched a search for Charlotte when she didn’t return in 15 minutes. The girl’s bike was found on the loop, authorities said.
An Amber Alert was activated shortly after 9:30 a.m. Sunday, “for a child abduction” that occurred around 6:45 p.m. Saturday night, state police said. Saratoga County is about 50 miles north of Albany.
Authorities believe Charlotte, who stands about 4 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 90 pounds, is “in imminent danger of serious harm and/or death,” the Amber Alert said.
A largescale search has since been mounted that includes dogs, boats, underwater rescue teams and drones along with dozens of personnel and law enforcement officials, authorities said.
When asked about the investigation, Jene Sena said:“I don’t want to speak to the investigation at all, and honestly, the state police are not really sharing much with us.”
Jene Sena also told her niece to remain strong.
“Hang in there girl, you are tough. You are tough and I know that wherever you are, you are getting through this,” she said. “I don’t doubt that she would figure out a way to escape if she were being held. I don’t doubt that she would figure out a way to somehow call for help.”
Jene Sena added, to whoever allegedly took the child, “Please let her come home. Let her come home because this is heart-wrenching, this is gut-wrenching.”