Police: N.C. parents arrested, charged with failing to report disappearance of 11-year-old girl

The girl's mother and stepfather were both arrested after waiting weeks to report her missing.
Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 9:12 AM PST
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CORNELIUS, N.C. (WBTV/Gray News) – Police have arrested the parents of an 11-year-old girl who went missing the day before Thanksgiving.

According to WBTV, the Cornelius Police Department began investigating Madalina Cojocari’s disappearance on Thursday after they said her parents reported her missing to the resource officer at her school.

Madalina was last seen at home on the evening of Nov. 23, according to police.

The parents of the child, identified by police as Madalina Cojocari, reported her missing to...
The parents of the child, identified by police as Madalina Cojocari, reported her missing to her school’s resource officer.(Cornelius Police Department)

They said her parents waited nearly three weeks after she was last seen to report her missing.

Police reported they arrested Madalina’s stepdad, 60-year-old Christopher Palmiter on Saturday. He is charged with failure to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement.

Madalina’s mother, 37-year-old Diana Cojocari, was also arrested for failing to report her daughter’s disappearance, according to police.

Both parents are being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center.

Police said they have charged Diana Cojocari, left, and Christopher Palmiter, right, for...
Police said they have charged Diana Cojocari, left, and Christopher Palmiter, right, for failing to report the disappearance of 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari, who has been missing since Nov. 23.(Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office and Cornelius Police Department)

“It’s very concerning that something like this could happen,” one neighbor, who did not provide his name, said.

He also said the FBI visited neighbors in the area on Friday night.

“It’s just heartbreaking. I can only imagine, and the empathy goes out to the family. It’s just heartbreaking. I don’t know what happened,” another unidentified neighbor said.

Other neighbors recalled the family as very quiet and keeping to themselves.

The FBI and the State Bureau of Investigation have since joined the search.

Madalina weighs about 90 pounds and was last seen wearing jeans, pink, purple and white Adidas shoes, a white T-shirt, and a jacket.

Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is asked to contact the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773 or the North Mecklenburg Crimestoppers at 704-896-7867.