Missing Madalina Cojocari seen in new video as search enters sixth month
A new video of missing 12-year-old Madalina Cojocari has been released by investigators as the search for the schoolgirl enters its sixth month.
In the heartbreaking video, the youngster can be seen playing around at a swimming pool in her hometown in North Carolina and at the beach.
“It has been 6 months since Madalina was last seen getting off her school bus on 11/21/22. Madalina should be getting ready to enjoy the warm summer months of being at the beach and swimming,” tweeted the Cornelius Police Department.
Madalina was seen on security video getting off her school bus on 21 November 2022, police say.
Her mother, Diana Cojocari, told officials she last saw her at their Cornelius home on 23 November but shockingly did not report her missing until 15 December, 22 days later.
For three weeks after she disappeared, staff at Bailey Middle School contacted her mother to inquire as to Madalina’s whereabouts when she failed to show up at school.
Finally, on 15 December, Ms Cojocari went to the school and told a school resource officer that her daughter was missing.
School officials then alerted law enforcement, who immediately launched an investigation to find the missing 11-year-old.
Diana Cojocari and the girl’s stepfather Christopher Palmiter have been charged with failure to report the disappearance of a child.
Since their arrests, they have both continued to insist that they don’t know where the 11-year-old went or what has happened to her.
Both claim to have last seen Madalina on 23 November.
Investigators have been unable to verify this claim with the last confirmed sighting being the moment she exited the school bus.
Court documents obtained by WBTV reveal that Madalina’s mother told investigators she last saw her daughter at around 10pm on 23 November when Madalina went to her room to go to bed.
Ms Cojocari claims that she and her husband got into an argument that night and the next morning he drove to his family’s home in Michigan, according to the arrest warrant.
When she then went to check on her daughter at about 11.30am on 24 November, Ms Cojocari claims she found her to be missing.
The police department held a celebration for Madalina’s 12th birthday last month.
“Since this investigation began, we have followed up on hundreds of leads,” said Cornelius police chief, David Baucom, Baucom.
“We are doing everything we can to find Madalina.”