Massive hunt for missing 11-year-old faces many challenges, police say

Friday, December 30, 2022
Parents 'clearly' know more about missing 11-year-old, police say
Missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari's parents "clearly" know more than they've told investigators, local police said on Tuesday.

The massive hunt for missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari has been hampered by how late police in North Carolina were notified of her disappearance, Cornelius police Capt. Jennifer Thompson said in a video update.

"One of the challenges in this case, simply put, we were not notified she was gone," said Thompson. The search for Madalina has police looking all over the world.

"Investigators have developed and followed nearly 250 leads spanning across state lines and across the globe," Thompson said Tuesday.

Madalina's parents were arrested on December 17 for failure to report her missing, police previously said in a news release. Her mother, Diana Cojocari, is being held on a $250,000 bond while her stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, is being held on a $200,000 bond, according to jail records.

WATCH: 'Heartbroken...desperate to find her': Family of missing 11-year-old pens handwritten plea for help

Police released a handwritten letter penned by family members of a missing 11-year-old North Carolina girl.

CNN has tried multiple times to contact Diana Cojocari's attorney. A spokesperson for the law firm representing Palmiter previously said they were unable to comment at this time.

"This is a serious case of a child whose parents clearly are not telling us everything they know," Thompson said. "Please call us if you have eyewitness information."

Madalina's missing poster is listed first on the Charlotte FBI's website. She was last seen on November 23, "wearing jeans, pink, purple and white Adidas shoes, and a white t-shirt and jacket," the FBI said.

Cornelius is approximately 20 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina.

More details on the timeline of Madalina's disappearance can be found here.

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