Man alleged to have kidnapped 9-year-old in upstate New York facing new charges

Craig Ross Jr. was arrested after a two-day manhunt in October.

November 17, 2023, 1:53 PM

Craig Ross Jr., the man accused of kidnapping a 9-year-old girl riding her bike in Moreau Lake State Park in September, was charged with several new crimes Friday in Saratoga County Court, including sexual assault.

Authorities arrested Ross, 47, on Oct. 2, after a two-day manhunt, which led authorities to a camper van in Ballston Spa, New York, where Ross was living on his mother’s property.

In addition to the original kidnapping charge, Ross is now facing four charges of predatory sexual assault against a child, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of second-degree assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

In this image taken from video, New York State police and crime scene investigators walk across the property, Oct. 3, 2023, in Milton, N.Y., where Craig N. Ross Jr. was found with a 9-year-old he is suspected of kidnapping.
Maysoon Kahn

The victim was found in a cupboard in his camper van and in good health, police said.

Search teams were led to the property after discovering a ransom note in the mailbox of the kidnapped girl’s home on which they discovered Ross’ fingerprints. His fingerprints were in the system due to a prior arrest for a DWI in 1999.

The child, from Greenfield, New York, disappeared while on a bike ride at the campground where she was staying with family and friends, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a news conference.

Hochul said the fourth grade girl was doing one last lap around the park alone when she went missing.

This photo provided by the Saratoga County, N.Y., Sheriff's Office shows Craig N. Ross Jr.
Saratoga County Sheriff's Office via AP

An Amber Alert was issued for the missing child that same evening and an intense search involving up to 400 local, state and federal law enforcement officers and firefighters was conducted at the sprawling park.

The day after his arrest Ross appeared in Milton Town Court where he was charged in relation to the kidnapping.