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School bus video shows missing 11-year-old girl just days before her disappearance, police say


By Sharif Paget, CNN

Authorities in North Carolina have released a school bus surveillance video they say shows missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari just days before her mother and stepfather said they last saw her.

“Today, we are releasing surveillance video from her school bus as Madalina got off at her stop on November 21, 2022, at 4:59 p.m.,” a Tuesday statement from the Cornelius Police Department said. “This is the last time we have independent confirmation of when she was last seen.”

The video was taken two days before November 23 — the day her mother and stepfather say they last saw Madalina.

Police said her parents waited until December 15 to report her missing to a school resource officer at Bailey Middle School, where Madalina is a student.

Madalina’s mother Diana Cojocari, 37, and her stepfather Christopher Palmiter, 60, were arrested Saturday for failure to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement, police said. Both are being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center, according to records.

“We are seeking additional witnesses outside of the family to narrow down the exact timeline of when she disappeared,” a statement from Cornelius police added.

Madalina was last seen wearing jeans; pink, purple and white Adidas shoes and a white T-shirt and jacket, authorities said. The FBI described her as 4 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 90 pounds. A photo released to the public shows a smiling girl wearing a shirt that reads, “I can change the world with love.”

CNN has attempted to contact Cojocari and Palmiter for comment. A spokesperson for a law firm representing Palmiter said they were unable to comment at this time.

Cornelius is around 20 miles north of Charlotte.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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