Madalina Cojocari on school bus

Madalina Cojocari: FBI Releases Video of Missing NC Girl Getting off Bus, Mother ‘Begrudgingly’ Reports Her Missing Weeks Later

The FBI released a 20-second video clip Wednesday that shows 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari, who was reported missing in North Carolina, during her last known sighting as she exited a school bus.

According to Fox News Digital, the video shows Madalina in a white shirt and backpack as she exits the bus at 4:59 p.m. on November 21 in Cornelius. Her parents, who didn’t report her missing until December 15, told a school resource officer at Bailey Middle School that she had been missing since November 23.

“This is the last time investigators have independent confirmation of when Madalina was last seen. She got off the bus on 11-21-22, at 4:59 p.m. We are seeking additional witnesses outside of the family to narrow down the exact timeline of when she disappeared,” the FBI Charlotte said.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, police arrested the child’s mother, Diana Cojocari, 35, and stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, on Monday and charged them with failure to report her disappearance. Cornelius police launched an investigation into the disappearance last week, and the FBI and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation joined the search later in the day.

Madalina Cojocari
Police Handout

An arrest warrant indicates that Cojocari “begrudgingly” reported her daughter missing three weeks later, as she “was worried it would affect her relationship with her husband,” Fox 8 reports. The pair reportedly had an argument the night Madalina disappeared, and Palmiter left for Michigan, where his family lives, to pick up some items. He returned home on November 26.

Cojocari said she noticed her daughter missing from her bedroom on the night of November 23 but didn’t tell Palmiter until he returned from Michigan. Palmiter reportedly told investigators that he last saw Madalina a week before he headed to Michigan, yet failed to report it to police promptly.

Madalina was reported missing after school officials arrived at the home for a truancy check on December 12. On December 15, Cojacari had a meeting with the school, and a missing persons report was subsequently filed.

Madalina is described as being 4-feet-10-inches tall and weighing around 90 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on Madalina should call the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773. To remain anonymous, call North Mecklenburg Crime Stoppers at 704-896-7867.

Check back for updates.

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode below. 

Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most — your children.

[Featured image: Police Handout]