Police: Parents of Madalina Cojocari ‘not telling us everything they know’

Posted at 4:06 PM, December 29, 2022 and last updated 4:06 PM, December 29, 2022

By Ivy Brown

CORNELIUS, N.C. (Court TV) – Police say the mother and stepfather of a missing 11-year-old in North Carolina are withholding information.

Madalina Cojocari was last seen Nov. 21 getting off her school bus in Cornelius. Her mother, Diana Cojocari, reported her missing to a school resource officer at Bailey Middle School on Dec. 15, after being repeatedly contacted about her daughter’s absences.

Madaline Cojocari missing person

This undated photo provided by the Cornelius Police Department shows missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari. Cojocari was last seen Nov. 23. Her parents reported her missing Dec. 15. (Cornelius Police Department/FBI)

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

RELATED: Parents of missing Madalina Cojocari arrested for not reporting disappearance

On Tuesday, Cornelius Police Captain Jennifer Thompson said they’d followed nearly 250 leads in the active case.

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

According to an arrest report, Diana told the SRO she last saw Madalina on Nov. 23 when she went to bed. Diana said that same night, she and Palmiter got into an argument “and the next morning he drove to his family house in Michigan to recover some items.” She noticed Madalina was gone around 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 24, states the report.

When Palmiter returned home on Nov. 26, neither claimed to know where Madalina was. According to the report, the couple spoke “several times about Madalina’s whereabouts over the next three weeks,” but neither knew where the child was or contacted police.

The report also states Diana told a detective “she believed her husband put her family in danger but did not know what happened Madalina.”

Madalina Cojocari family letter

This letter provided by the Cornelius Police Department is reportedly written by the family of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari. Authorities released the letter Dec. 22, 2022. Madalina was last seen Nov. 21. (Cornelius Police Department)

Last week, authorities shared a handwritten letter from unknown members of Madalina’s family. The letter states they’re “devastated and absolutely heartbroken,” but “continue to have hope and positivity in this difficult time and pray that she is found safe very soon.”

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.