North Carolina police arrest stepfather, mother of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari; FBI joins the search

The FBI announced on Dec. 15 that it had joined the investigation to locate the girl

The FBI has joined an investigation in North Carolina to help locate an 11-year-old girl who has been missing since before Thanksgiving.

The Cornelius Police Department said it began investigating a missing person’s report for missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari on Thursday, Dec. 15, and requested the FBI’s assistance.

On Friday evening, the FBI announced they had joined the investigation and released a "Missing" poster with identifying information on the juvenile and other general details.

Authorities are continuing to search for 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari, who was reported missing on Thursday, Dec. 15.

Authorities are continuing to search for 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari, who was reported missing on Thursday, Dec. 15. (Cornelius Police Department)

"Madalina Cojocari was last seen at home in Cornelius, North Carolina, on the evening of November 23, 2022, and has not been seen since. She was reported missing to her school on December 15, 2022. Madalina was last seen wearing jeans, pink, purple and white Adidas shoes, and a white t-shirt and jacket," the FBI said.

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Madalina is described as being 4’10" tall and weighing 90 pounds. She has brown hair.

On Saturday, Cornelius police arrested the girls’ stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, and her mother, Diana Cojocari, for failing to report the disappearance of a child, officials said.

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A Cornelius Police Department vehicle.

A Cornelius Police Department vehicle. (Cornelius Police Department)

"On December 17, 2022, at approximately 10:15 this morning, Cornelilus Police arrested Madalina’s mother, Diana Cojocari, for Failure to Report the Disappearance of a Child to Law Enforcement. Cojocari never reported her daughter, Madalina Cojocari as missing after she was last seen in Cornelius on November 23, 2022," the police wrote in a statement.

Cornelius police arrested stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, and her mother, Diana Cojocari, for failing to report the disappearance of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari.

Cornelius police arrested stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, and her mother, Diana Cojocari, for failing to report the disappearance of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari. (Mecklenburg County Detention Center)

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Cojocari is being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Madalina Cojocari is asked to contact the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773. Anonymous tips can also be sent to the North Mecklenburg Crimestoppers at 704-896-7867.