THE stepfather of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari has been arrested after waiting three weeks to report her disappearance.
Christopher Palmiter, 60, is being held in custody while authorities continue to search the missing girl’s North Carolina home.
The FBI joined the search for the boy when police began digging up the parents’ backyard looking for evidence.
According to reports, Madalina first went missing the day before Thanksgiving.
However, police say Madalina’s parents waited three weeks to visit their daughter’s school to report that she had disappeared.
Cornelius police said Thursday, the day they were reported missing, that they were launching an investigation into the girls’ disappearance.
The Cornelius police were subsequently assisted by investigators from the FBI and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
Horrified neighbors watched on Friday as the family’s home and backyard were searched in hopes of finding evidence of Madalina’s disappearance.
The next day, Cornelius Police announced that Palmiter had been arrested on charges of failing to report a child’s disappearance to law enforcement.
Palmiter works as a mechanical designer at industrial machinery manufacturer Ingersoll Rand, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Local resident Sydney Capps told WCCB: “I’ve lived here all my life so I’ve never seen anything like it.
“It’s strange that it seems like she went missing in November and it’s only now being reported.”
Cornelius Police have not confirmed if they found anything of importance during their investigation.
However, authorities said they are still looking for her and are asking the public for information.
Police say Madalina is 4ft 10 inches tall and weighs around 90 pounds and has hazel and hazel eyes.
The 11-year-old was last spotted in jeans, pink, purple and white Adidas shoes, a white t-shirt and a jacket.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Madalina Cojocari is urged to contact the Cornelius Police Department at (704) 892-7773.
Tips may also be submitted online at tips.fbi.g
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6937937/missing-girls-stepdad-arrested-weeks-after-vanished/ Startling clues surface after missing girl Madalina Cojocari goes missing and stepfather is arrested while the FBI digs up her parents’ backyard