The search continues for a missing 11-year-old North Carolina girl who hasn’t been seen in over two weeks, according to Cornelius police.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Madalina Cojocari was reported missing on December 15, although her mother says she hasn’t seen her since November 23. The FBI, along with several other agencies, including the State Bureau of Investigation, have joined in the search efforts and investigation.
According to police, Madalina’s mother said the last time she saw her daughter was at their home in Cornelius on November 23.
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.
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 officially reported missing after Bailey Middle School officials arrived at the home for a truancy check on December 12. According to an arrest warrant obtained by the Charlotte Observer, no one answered the door when officials arrived.
“There was no answer at the door, and a truancy packet was left,” a school counselor wrote.
A few days later, Cojacori arrived at Bailey Middle School and reported her missing to a school resource officer.
“I asked Diana why she did not report Madalina missing until now,” Bailey Middle School Resource Officer J. Nobles noted, according to the arrest report. “Diana stated she was worried it might start a ‘conflict’ between her [and her husband].”
Diana Colocari and Palmiter were charged with failure to report the disappearance of a child, the Cornelius Police Department said. They are being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center.
Both suspects arrived for a bond hearing, where a judge set Cojacori’s bond at $250,000 and initially set Palmiter’s bond at $100,000, which was later raised to $200,000.
Both defendants requested public defenders and are scheduled for their next court appearance on December 28.
The FBI released a 20-second video clip Wednesday that shows Madalina 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.
“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.
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. #FindMadalina pic.twitter.com/dkStKHmjjB
— FBI Charlotte (@FBICharlotte) December 20, 2022
Meanwhile, the search continues.
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. You can also contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI.
Check back for updates.
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[Featured image: Police Handout]