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Police say parents of missing North Carolina girl know more about her disappearance

Madalina Cojocari
Posted at 2:16 PM, Dec 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 14:16:38-05

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Authorities in North Carolina said the parents of a missing 11-year-old girl know more than they’re telling officials.

Madalina Cojocari, 11, of Cornelius, was reported missing on Dec. 15, by her mother, Diana Cojocari, 37, and stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, according to a police report.

Her parents told investigators she had not been seen since Nov. 23.

Both parents were arrested on Dec. 17 and charged with failing to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement.

On Tuesday, investigators said they have developed and followed about 250 leads. Capt. Jennifer Thompson said in a video posted to Facebook that those leads have been “across state lines and across the globe.”

Police have knocked on 245 doors in the Victoria Bay neighborhood around Madalina Cojocari’s home, Thompson said.

“This is a serious case of a child whose parents are clearly not telling us everything they know,” Thompson said.

Police have said the girls' school reached out to her parents several times between Nov. 23 and Dec. 15.

On Dec. 15, the mother of the missing child went into her school and stated that she had been missing. That's when officials called in emergency response crews from across the state and the FBI for assistance.

According to WSOC-TV, Cojocari told police she’d last seen the girl at about 10 p.m. on Nov. 23.

Diana Cojocari told police that Madalina Cojocari went to her room that night to go to bed.

Diana Cojocari stated she and her husband argued that night, and the next morning he drove to his family's house in Michigan to recover some items.

According to the FBI, Madalina Cojocari had been wearing "jeans, pink, purple and white Adidas shoes, and a white t-shirt and jacket" at the time of her disappearance.

The FBI has released the last known video of Madalina, taken as she got off the school bus on Nov. 21 at 4:59 p.m.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773 or 1-800-Call FBI if you have information.

Julia Varnier at WTKR first reported this story.