Parents of missing Madalina Cojocari arrested for not reporting disappearance

Posted at 9:43 AM, December 20, 2022 and last updated 9:20 AM, December 21, 2022

By Ivy Brown

CORNELIUS, N.C. (Court TV) – The mother and stepfather of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari have been arrested for failing to report the child’s disappearance, according to police.

Madalina Cojocari parents arrested

These Dec. 17, 2022 booking photo provided by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office shows Diana Cojocari (L) and Christopher Palmiter (R). Cojocari and Palmiter have been charged with failing to report 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari as missing. (Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office)

Cojocari’s parents claim she was last seen Nov. 23, 2022, according to a news release from Cornelius Police. Her mother reported her missing to a school resource officer at Bailey Middle School on Dec. 15 after she was repeatedly contacted about her daughter’s absences.

Two days later, police arrested Diana Cojocari, 37, and Christopher Palmiter, 60, on a charge of Failure to Report the Disappearance of a Child to Law Enforcement.

Prosecutors said the parents have not told authorities why they waited 3 weeks to report the child missing, reported WCNC-TV.

The FBI and local authorities are searching for Cojocari, who disappeared about 20 miles north of Charlotte. On Monday, the FBI said they expanded their search to include a local lake “as a precautionary measure.”

Authorities say Cojocari was last seen wearing jeans, pink, purple and white Adidas shoes, a white t-shirt and jacket.

Madalina Cojocari school bus video

The Cornelius Police Department released school bus surveillance video from Nov. 21, 2022 that shows missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari. Police said it’s the last time they had independent confirmation of when she was last seen. Her mother and stepfather said they last saw her Nov. 23. (Cornelius Police Department)

On Wednesday, authorities released school bus surveillance video of Cojocari from Nov. 21, the last time she was reportedly seen by someone besides her mother and stepfather.

The Cornelius Police Department is asking anyone with information about Cojocari’s whereabouts to contact them at 704-892-7773 or 1-800- CALL FBI. Tips can also be submitted on the Cornelius Police Department’s online tip form for Madalina, as well as the FBI tip line.