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Missing Madalina Cojocari's mother pleads guilty to failure to report disappearance, may be deported

Diana Cojocari, mother of missing North Carolina girl Madalina Cojocari, may be deported to her home country of Moldova after she pleaded guilty to failure to report a child missing.

Diana Cojocari, mother of missing North Carolina girl Madalina Cojocari, pleaded guilty Monday morning to one count of failure to report a missing child.

Madalina was last seen getting off a school bus in her hometown of Cornelius, just north of Charlotte, on Nov. 21, 2022, when she was 12 years old.

Public defenders changed Diana's plea to guilty on Monday and said she is entitled to 521 days — or 17 months and four days — of credit upon any sentence of imprisonment, and she may be deported back to her home country of Moldova. Cojocari is currently in the U.S. on a green card. Fox News Digital has reached out to Diana's attorneys and the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office.

Diana and her husband, Christopher Palmiter — Madalina's stepfather — did not report the 11-year-old girl missing to police until weeks later on Dec. 15, 2022, despite telling police the last time they saw their daughter was at home the evening of Nov. 23, 2022.

NORTH CAROLINA GIRL MADALINA COJOCARI MISSING FOR ONE YEAR: ‘NOT GOING TO STOP UNTIL WE FIND HER’

Leads have taken authorities from the Charlotte area to the mountains of western North Carolina, but there have been no signs of the missing girl for nearly two years.

MADALINA COJOCARI: NORTH CAROLINA POLICE RELEASE NEW PHOTO OF 11-YEAR-OLD MISSING SINCE NOVEMBER

Diana told school officials and Cornelius Police she hadn't seen her daughter, a 6th-grader at Bailey Middle School who was born in Moldova, since she went to her bedroom the night of Nov. 23, 2022, around 10 p.m. after she and Palmiter got into an argument, court documents state.

Palmiter said that on Nov. 24, 2022, he drove to his relatives' home in Michigan "to recover some items" after an argument with his wife. Diana apparently went into her daughter's room around 11:30 a.m. that morning to discover the 11-year-old was gone, according to an affidavit.

MISSING NORTH CAROLINA GIRL'S MOTHER WANTED TO SMUGGLE 11-YEAR-OLD FROM HOME: WARRANT

When Palmiter returned home to Cornelius on Nov. 26, Diana apparently asked him where their daughter was. Palmiter allegedly asked her the same question in return, the affidavit states.

Soon after reporting Madalina missing last year, her parents penned a handwritten note expressing their concern for the missing 11-year-old, which the CPD shared with the public on Dec. 22. 

MISSING MADALINA COJOCARI: TIMELINE OF NORTH CAROLINA GIRL'S DISAPPEARANCE THAT WENT UNREPROTED FOR WEEKS

Both parents were arrested for failing to report a missing child. Palmiter was released in August after posting bond while Diana remains in custody at the Mecklenburg County Jail.

In an August interview with local news outlet WCNC, Rodica Cojocari, Madalina's grandmother and the mother of Diana, said through a translator her "granddaughter is alive, but she's been kidnapped."

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Rodica, who hails from Moldova, proceeded to accuse Palmiter of trafficking Diana and Madalina for $5 million.

Search warrants unsealed earlier this year suggest Diana and Rodica contacted a distant relative asking if he would help in "smuggling" Diana and Madalina from their Cornelius home, just north of Charlotte, before Madalina disappeared, according to phone records obtained by the Cornelius Police Department.

"She told him she was in a bad relationship with co-defendant Christopher Palmiter and wanted a divorce," the warrant states.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about Madalina's whereabouts to contact the CPD at 704-892-7773.

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