Man Who Kidnapped Charlotte Sena Was Eyeing Her Late Grandfather’s $2.2 Million Lawsuit Settlement

When New York State Police officers arrested Craig Ross on Monday (Oct. 2), there was no doubt in their minds that he was the man behind the kidnapping of 9-year-old Charlotte Sena. What they couldn’t figure out was his motive – why kidnap someone and, perhaps most importantly, why kidnap Charlotte? 

According to the suspect’s ex-girlfriend, Amanda Preece, who spoke exclusively with The Daily Mail in an interview that was published on Friday (Oct. 6), Craig Ross ‘never wanted to work’ and was always trying to ‘find someone to mooch off of.’ He apparently viewed the kidnapping as a means to make a quick buck.

That explains the $50,000 ransom note he left in the family’s mailbox, but it doesn’t quite explain why he chose to kidnap Charlotte. According to his ex-girlfriend, Ross knew of a $2.2 million lawsuit settlement Charlotte’s grandfather won in 1998 and was hoping to get a slice of the cake by kidnapping Charlotte. 

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“Charlotte’s grandfather sued the Town of Greenfield years ago, and people around Saratoga are aware of this. I think that’s why he held her ransom, he was hoping to get some of the money because he’s struggling financially,” Preece said of Ross – adding that the $50,000 would set him up for 4-5 years. 

Patrick Sena, the little girl’s late grandfather, was sledding with his then-7-year-old son (Charlotte’s father) in 1998 when they hit a bump that sent them flying. Patrick suffered a broken pelvis and a spine fracture in the accident, so he sued the town – his $2.2 million settlement is common knowledge among locals. 

The case took nearly a decade to settle, but Patrick Sena was eventually awarded $810,000 for past pain and suffering, $1,000,000 for future pain and suffering, $180,000 for past derivative losses. and $250,000 for future derivative losses – according to The Daily Mail. Unfortunately, Patrick passed away in 2015. 

Craig Ross kidnapped Charlotte Sena last Saturday (Sept. 30) and left a ransom note in her family’s mailbox on Monday (Oct. 2). Police were able to match the fingerprints from the ransom note to Craig Ross’ fingerprints from a 1999 DUI arrest. Charlotte was found in a closet in Ross’ makeshift campervan. 

Craig Ross Allegedly Pre-Planned the Kidnapping of Charlotte Sena

Amanda Preece described Craig Ross as ‘evil’ and a ‘monster’ who has gotten away with crimes in the past – referring to a 2017 incident where he ‘grabbed her by the throat with both hands.’ Preece was awarded a restraining order against Ross and has learned to keep her distance in the years since. 

Preece also detailed why she believes the kidnapping of Charlotte Sena was pre-planned – adding that he ‘has the patience for messed up things like that.’ She accused him of following Charlotte and her family for what could’ve been weeks or even months leading up to the kidnapping on September 30. 

She alluded to a tarp that he put up to cover the windows to his campervan a few months ago – which she views as a tell-tale sign that he was doing something sketchy. “His mother could have seen through the window from her patio – so that’s why he put up the tarp,” Preece said in her The Daily Mail interview.

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“To go to the campsite where they were at, to know where they lived, and to go to the park when they are there. He definitely had this planned,” she continued. “He’s the type of person where he pre plans and it can be months ahead.” Ross is being held at the Saratoga County Jail without bail and his next court date is October 17.

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