Missing North Carolina sixth grader Madalina Cojocari is seen getting off a school bus late last month — the last known sighting of her before she was reported missing 24 days later.
The FBI released the video Tuesday, days after the 11-year-old schoolgirl’s mom Diana Cojocari, 37, and stepfather Christopher Palmiter, 60, were charged with failing to report her missing for more than three weeks.
Search teams also dredged a local lake in Cornelius, where cops asked locals to “flood the area” with photos showing “her precious face.”
The video shows Cojocari in a white T-shirt casually walking through the aisle of her school bus with three other pupils, playing with her hair as she waits to exit.
“This is the last time investigators have independent confirmation of when Madalina was last seen,” the joint forces said of the clip from just before 5 p.m. on Nov. 21 — two days before her parents claim they last saw her.
That would suggest Cojocari did not take the bus again the next day, Tuesday Nov. 22, the last day before local schools broke for Thanksgiving.
After that, Bailey Middle School staff made “repeated contact” with her mom to ask why the youngster was continually absent — with her only admitting on Dec. 15 her daughter was missing, cops have said.
The FBI said it hoped the video would spark witnesses “outside of the family” who could “narrow down the exact timeline of when she disappeared.”
Although they hope to locate Madalina alive, the FBI confirmed it was “expanding our search to include Lake Cornelius as a precautionary measure.” Investigators already dug up her family’s backyard and searched the home, WCCB Charlotte said.
“There’s nothing we won’t do to [find Madalina],” it said of the investigation, which also includes the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
An earlier appeal shared a smiling photo, saying that “the 6th grade middle school student loves horses & you can see how happy she is to have a big bowl of ice cream.”
Her mom and stepfather were busted Saturday and will remain in Mecklenburg County Detention Center through Christmas, with a bond hearing set for next Wednesday.