BALLSTON SPA, NY – Prosecutors have leveled additional charges against a man accused of abducting a nine-year-old girl from Moreau Lake State Park in upstate New York. Craig N. Ross Jr., initially charged with first-degree kidnapping, now faces charges of rape.
The girl was discovered two days after her disappearance in a camper where Ross was living. The turning point in the investigation came when a ransom note was left at the girl’s family home. Fingerprints on the note matched Ross, who was already known to law enforcement due to a drunk driving incident in 1999.
Friday’s public indictment upheld the initial kidnapping charge and added four counts of predatory sexual assault against a child. Ross also faces charges of sexual abuse, assault, and child endangerment. He pleaded not guilty to all charges in Saratoga County Court.
The girl was last seen cycling around the campsite loop with other children. Her parents alerted authorities when she embarked on one more solo lap and failed to return. The subsequent search operation involved over 100 personnel, including police, forest rangers, and civilians, and made use of drones, bloodhounds, and an airboat.
Since his arrest, Ross has been held without bail.