Madalina Cojocari Case: Arrest Report Details What Mom, Stepdad Allegedly Said About Missing Girl
It has been over a month since Madalina Cojocari was last seen, and the FBI is classifying the case as a missing person and possible kidnapping at this time.
The FBI has released new photos of Madalina Cojocari amid ongoing efforts to locate the missing North Carolina girl.
A smiling Madalina, 11, plays at the beach, runs around her yard and poses with a horse in the images.
"Earlier this week we told you Madalina loves horses. You can see the pure joy she feels when she takes her plastic ponies to the beach," writes the FBI. "And she enjoys riding the real pony named Rayne."
Meanwhile, Madalina's mother Diana Cojocari will appear before a judge on Wednesday for a bail hearing, according to Mecklenburg County jail records.
Diana Cojocari, 37, is charged with failure to report a child missing after allegedly waiting three weeks to inform officials that she had not seen Madalina.
Cojocari reported her daughter missing on Dec. 15 during an interview with Bailey Middle School Resource Officer J. Nobles, according to an arrest report from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office obtained by Inside Edition Digital. At that time, Colocari allegedly told the officer that she last saw her daughter at 11 p.m. on Nov. 23 when she went into her bedroom in Cornelius, North Carolina, to go to bed.
Officer Nobles is a member of the Cornelius Police Department.
"Diana stated her and her husband, Christopher Palmiter, argued that night and the next morning he drove to his family's house in Michigan to recover some items," the report reads. Palmiter is Madalina's stepfather.
Cojocari said she checked on Madalina about 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 24 and noticed the little girl was not in her room, police said. Officer Nobles said the mother told him that she then waited until Palmiter returned to the house at 4 p.m. on Nov. 26 to ask if he knew where Madalina was. He said he didn't know where she was and asked Cojocari the same question in return, she allegedly told the officer.
"I asked Diana why she did not report Madalina missing until now. Diana stated she was worried it might start a 'conflict' between her and Christopher," said Officer Nobles in the report.
Palmiter, 50, will appear in court alongside Cojocari on Wednesday morning. He too is charged with failure to report a child missing.
Officer Nobles also interviewed Palmiter, who told him that he left his home on Nov. 23 to drive to Michigan to pick up items, but said he did not see Madalina the day he left and "believed that the last time he saw her was a week before his trip."
Palmiter said that when he returned home on Nov. 26, he asked his wife, Cojocari, where Madalina was, and she "said that she did not know," the arrest report states. He also allegedly said he asked Madalina's mother if she "had hidden" the little girl, and she asked the same question of him, "and they both said no."
Palmiter never reported Madalina missing, officials said.
"Chris [Palmiter] stated he spoke with Diana [Cojocari] several times about Madalina's whereabouts over the next two weeks and both stated that they did not know where she was, but they did not contact the police to report Madalina missing," the report claims.
Both Palmiter and Cojocari's interviews with Officer Nobles took place on Dec. 15. They were arrested two days later, according to jail records.
A spokesperson for the Cornelius Police Department previously told Inside Edition Digital that school employees had called the girl's mother on several occasions prior to inquire about her absence from school.
The couple's appearance in court on Wednesday will be for a bond hearing. Palmiter is being held on a $200,000 bond while Cojocari is being held on $250,000 bond. Jail records also note that Palmiter was booked 12 hours before his wife on Dec. 17.
There is no attorney listed or assigned to either party, according to state records.
The last confirmed sighting of Madalina was on Nov. 21, when she was seen on video exiting a school bus at 4:59 p.m., just days before Thanksgiving. That video was later released by the FBI.
The only person to report seeing her after that time is her mother, who told the interviewing officer that she had last seen her daughter two days later, on Nov. 23. That account is detailed in the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office's arrest report.
Last week, a member of Madalina's family drafted a letter thanking police for their efforts, praising the ongoing media coverage, and imploring the public to stay on the lookout for any possible sign of the girl.
“We, as a family, are devastated and absolutely heartbroken to learn that Madalina is missing,” reads the letter. “We Love Madalina and are shocked by these circumstances.”
Madalina was last seen wearing jeans, pink, purple and white Adidas shoes, and a white t-shirt and jacket, according to the FBI.
Any persons with information concerning the whereabouts of Madalina Cojocari should contact the the Cornelius Police Department at (704) 892-7773. They may also contact a local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
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