CORNELIUS, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The mother and step-father of a missing 11-year-old girl were arrested Saturday for failing to report the child’s disappearance as her whereabouts remain unknown.

Madalina Cojocari’s parents reported her missing at 1:12 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, to the School Resource Officer at Bailey Middle School, where she attended school, three weeks after they had last seen her, authorities said. When asked by Queen City News why the parents had waited three weeks to report her missing, the FBI said it was part of the investigation. The FBI says they have not ruled out classifying the case as suspicious. They say Madalina had been living with her mother and stepdad.

Christopher Palmiter, 60, was charged with failure to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement, Cornelius Police said. Authorities said Palmiter is the stepfather.

Photo Credit: Mecklenburg County Sheriff

The mother, Diana Cojocari, 37, was arrested Saturday morning around 10:15 a.m. under the same charges and is also being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center.

Madalina was last seen at home in Cornelius, on the evening of Nov. 23, 2022, and has not been seen since, police said.

The Charlotte FBI and SBI announced their involvement in the case Friday evening.

Madalina is described as an 11-year-old girl with brown eyes, 4’10” tall, and weighing about 90 pounds. She was last seen wearing jeans, pink, purple, and white Adidas shoes, and a white t-shirt and jacket.

Anyone who has information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773 or North Mecklenburg Crime Stoppers at 704-896-7867.

You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.