Missing Madalina Cojocari: Timeline of North Carolina girl's disappearance that went unreported for weeks

Madalina Cojocari, an 11-year-old girl from Cornelius, North Carolina, has been missing since Nov. 21, 2022, but police are still trying to piece together the exact time of her disappearance and current whereabouts.

The girl's mother, Diana Cojocari, and stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, have been arrested and charged with failure to report a missing child to law enforcement after they waited weeks to inform school and police officials about their daughter's disappearance.

This is what is known about the 11-year-old's mysterious vanishing.

The 6th grader at Bailey Middle School, is last seen on video footage exiting a Cornelius school bus around 5 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2022, a Monday. This is also the last time Bailey Middle School staff saw Madalina before her disappearance, according to Mecklenburg County court documents.

MISSING MADALINA COJOCARI: INVESTIGATORS ISSUED SEARCH WARRANTS FOR MISSING 11-YEAR-OLD'S HOME, PHONE RECORDS

A photo of Madalina holding her hair
A photo of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari, who was last seen on Nov. 23, 2022.

Cojocari allegedly sees her daughter for the last time on the evening of Nov. 23 — the day before Thanksgiving.

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Madalina goes to bed around 10 p.m. that evening after her mother and Palmiter get into an argument, according to court documents.

Madalina Cojocari
Madalina Cojocari disappeared on Nov. 23 but her mother did not report her missing until more than three weeks later on Dec. 15.

Palmiter drives to his family's home in Michigan on Thanksgiving Day to "recover some items."

Cojocari enters Madalina's room around 11:30 a.m. that morning and discovers that the 11-year-old is gone.

Missing North Carolina girl Madalina Cojocari
Diana Cojocari went into her daughter's room around 11:30 a.m. that morning only to discover that the 11-year-old was gone.

Cojocari waits until Nov. 26, when Palmiter returns from Michigan to their home in Cornelius, to ask if he knows where Madalina is.

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Palmiter tells his wife that he does not know where the 11-year-old went and asks Cojocari "the same question in return," according to the affidavit.

Diana Cojocari, mother of missing Madalina Cojocari,
Cornelius police are asking anyone with information regarding Diana Cojocari, mother of missing Madalina Cojocari, between Nov. 22 and Dec. 15 to contact police.

A Bailey Middle School counselor calls Cojocari and requests a meeting on Dec. 15. The mother apparently states that she will bring Madalina to school the day of the meeting, according to a probable cause affidavit.

As promised, Cojocari shows up to the middle school on Dec. 15 — but without her daughter, who has not been to school for a month at that point.

MADALINA COJOCARI: FBI EXPANDING SEARCH FOR MISSING NORTH CAROLINA GIRL 

Cojocari tells school officials and local police that she last saw her daughter go into her bedroom the night of Nov. 23 after arguing with her husband.

When detectives ask Cojocari why she waited until Dec. 15 to report her daughter missing, the mother says "she was worried it might start a ‘conflict’ between her" and Palmiter, court documents state. Cornelius police issue a search warrant for Cojocari's and Palmiter's address.

Palmiter tells investigators that he believes the last time he saw his stepdaughter was nearly a week after he left home to visit relatives in Michigan Nov. 24, potentially extending the date of Madalina's last known whereabouts.

Cornelius police issue search warrants for cellphone records and the following items at Madalina's family home: electronic devices, articles of clothing, weapons, financial documents, bodily fluids, hair, fiber, and signs of criminal activity.

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Cornelius police issue a search warrant for additional items at Madalina's family home.

Madalina's family pens a handwritten note expressing their concern for the missing 11-year-old that the Cornelius Police Department shares with the public.

family's handwritten message
Investigators on Thursday shared a handwritten, personal message from the family of Madalina Cojocari.

"Madalina is a beautiful, smart, kind and loving 11-year-old girl with greatness in her future," the family's note reads. "We are desperate to find her right now, she needs all of our help."

MISSING MADALINA COJOCARI: POLICE SEEK INFORMATION ON MOTHER, TOYOTA PRUIS

Cornelius police arrest and charge Cojocari and Palmiter for failure to report a missing child to law enforcement. They are ordered held on $250,000 and $200,000 bond, respectively.

Christopher Palmiter and Diana 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.

The Cornelius Police Department (CPD) issues an announcement asking the public for any information about any sightings of Cojocari or a light green Toyota Prius between Mecklenberg and Madison County between Nov. 22 and Dec. 15 to narrow down the timeline of her daughter's disappearance.

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The search for Madalina remains active and ongoing. The FBI is assisting CPD with its search.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about Madalina's whereabouts to contact CPD at 704-892-7773.