Investigators searching for missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari released a video on Tuesday showing the child getting off a school bus on November 21, two days before her mother said she last saw her.
Cojocari was last seen at home in Cornelius, North Carolina, on Nov. 23, about three weeks before her school was notified on December 15, that the girl was missing, according to officials.
The surveillance video from the school bus released on Tuesday shows the 11-year-old getting off the bus at 4:59 p.m. on November 21, according to investigators.
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“This is the last time investigators have independent confirmation of when Madalina was last seen,” the FBI’s Charlotte bureau said on Twitter. “We are seeking additional witnesses outside of the family to narrow down the exact timeline of when she disappeared.”
Cojocari was wearing a light-colored shirt and a dark backpack in the 19-second video.
The girl’s mother, Diana Cojocari, 37, and stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, were arrested on Saturday on the charge of failure to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement, police said in two statements.
Diana Cojocari reported her daughter missing to her school on December 15, police said.
“As previously released, Charlotte-Mecklenburg School employees contacted Diana Cojocari on several occasions to inquire about Madalina being absent from school,” the Cornelius Police Department said in a press release on Tuesday. Both are being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center.
According to police, the school made “repeated contact” with Diana Cojocari before she “went to Bailey Middle School on December 15, 2022, and reported to the School Resource Officer” that Madalina was missing.
WBTV in Charlotte obtained an arrest affidavit from law enforcement detailing probable cause, according to the outlet.
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A detective wrote that when he questioned Diana Cojocari, she said she “believed her husband put her family in danger,” and maintained she didn’t know what happened to Madalina.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Madalina Cojocari is asked to contact the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773 or the North Mecklenburg Crimestoppers at 704-896-7867.