CORNELIUS, N.C. — The mother and stepfather of a missing 11-year-old Cornelius girl were arrested over the weekend, police announced.
The Cornelius Police Department announced Saturday that it had arrested Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter in connection with the disappearance of Madalina Cojocari. The couple reported the 11-year-old was missing to a school resource officer at Bailey Middle School on Dec. 15. She was last seen at home on Nov. 23 and hasn't been seen since, according to investigators.
Diana Cojocari, Madalina's mother, was arrested for failing to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement. Cojocari is expected to face a judge Tuesday.
Palmiter was also arrested, according to police. Palmiter appeared in court Monday, where his bond was increased to $200,000.
In court Monday, prosecutors said both parents have been interviewed but provided authorities with no explanation as to why they waited so long to report the girl missing.
WCNC Charlotte spoke with a former FBI agent who said the timeline of events is what is interesting. Madalina was last seen on Nov. 23. She wasn't reported missing until Dec. 15, 22 days later.
"You would assume that the [school] district would ask after a few days, because they send notes home, and now in the digital age, we get emails when our kids are out of school for one day," M. Quentin Williams said. "So the parents knew immediately that the child was not in school."
The FBI announced Friday it was also investigating the case. Agents have asked anyone with information regarding Madalina Cojocari's disappearance to call them immediately.
Cojocari is described as an 11-year-old white female, weighing 90 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, according to police. She was last seen wearing jeans, pink, purple, and white Adidas shoes, and a white t-shirt and jacket.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Madalina Cojocari is asked to contact the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773.
Note: WCNC Charlotte is showing the mugshots of the suspects in this case because of the public interest.
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