The mother of Madalina Cojocari, an 11-year-old girl who went missing in North Carolina, told authorities that she believed her husband put the family in danger after she waited three weeks to report her daughter missing and was arrested, according to a local report.
The new details were found in court records obtained by Queen City News, which reported that the documents did not elaborate on why Madalina’s mother, Diana Cojocari, “believed her husband put her family in danger,” as stated in the document.
Cojocari and her husband, Christopher Palmiter, who is Madalina’s stepfather, had a dispute on the night Madalina was last seen, the outlet reported, citing court documents. Palmiter drove to Michigan following the argument and was told three days later that Madalina was missing, the records state.
Cojocari told investigators that she waited three weeks to report her daughter missing because she thought it would hurt her relationship with her husband, the station reported.
Madalina, a sixth-grader, was last seen at her home in Cornelius on the evening of Nov. 23, but the Cornelius Police Department said Cojocari did not report her missing until Thursday.
On Saturday, Cornelius police arrested Palmiter and Cojocari for failing to report the disappearance of a child, officials said.
Police immediately requested the assistance of the FBI and began a search for the girl.
The FBI’s Charlotte office said investigators increased the scope of their search to include Lake Cornelius in Cornelius, North Carolina, as “part of the normal investigative process” to find the child.
On Tuesday, investigators released video showing Madalina walking off a school bus just before 5 p.m. on Nov. 21, her last recorded location before she disappeared two days later.
“There’s nothing we won’t do to #FindMadaline,” the agency tweeted.