CORNELIUS, N.C. - Authorities in North Carolina said they have followed up on more than 200 leads around the globe in the search for 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari.
Madalina disappeared from her home on November 23 in Cornelius, North Carolina, according to the FBI. She was last seen wearing jeans, pink, purple and white Adidas shoes, and a white t-shirt and jacket. She was reported missing to Bailey Middle School on December 15.
Earlier this month, Cornelius police arrested her stepfather, 60-year-old Christopher Palmiter, and her mother, Diana Cojocari, for failing to report the disappearance of a child.
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. (Mecklenburg County Detention Center)
School employees said they contacted Diana several times about her daughter's whereabouts, but it wasn't until December 15 that the mother walked into the school and told a school resource officer her daughter was missing.
"This is a serious case of a child whose parents clearly are not telling us everything they know," Capt. Jennifer Thompson of the Cornelius Police Department said in a video statement released Tuesday on social media.
The Cornelius Police Department also shared a letter from the little girl's family, who expressed sadness but said they're praying that she's found.
"We, as a family, are devastated and absolutely heartbroken to learn that Madalina is missing. We love Madalina and are shocked by these circumstances. This is something no child or family should ever have to endure, the letter read. Our family doing everything we know to do to support the efforts to find Madalina and bring her home. We are and continue to have hope and positivity in this difficult time and pray that she is found safe very soon."
"We know and greatly appreciate that the local, state, national, and online communities have come together to share fliers, offer positive support, hold prayer vigils, support law enforcement and are doing everything possible to find and bring Madalina safely home."
"Madalina is a beautiful, smart, kind and loving 11-year-old girl with greatness in her future. We are desperate to find her right now, she needs all of our help. We ask for your continued, positive support in sharing far and wide the posters and pictures of Madalina. The family concluded by writing "our family would like to express sincere gratitude to each and everyone of you for your support."
Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Madalina Cojocari, is asked to contact the Cornelius Police Department at (704) 892-7773. You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
Daniel Miller contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.