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Cornelius News

Only mother, step-father can explain why they waited 22 days to report Madalina missing

Still missing: Madalina Cojocari

Dec. 20. By Dave Yochum. Bailey Middle School officials are letting parents know that enforcement agencies may be requesting interviews from students, families and staff as the search for Madalina Cojocari goes into its sixth day. Meanwhile, police and fire will be back out on Lake Cornelius for a second day today in an effort to find the 11-year-old.

Madalina was last seen at her home in Victoria Bay on Nov. 23. It took her parents three weeks to report her missing to a school resource officer at Bailey Middle, where Madalina is a sixth-grader.

D Cojocari

Madalina’s mother Diana Cojocari, 37, and her stepfather Christopher Palmiter, 60, were arrested on Saturday for failure to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement. Both Cojocari and Palmiter are being held at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center.

What residents say

Victoria Bay residents said they sometimes saw them at the pool, or walking in the neighborhood off Catawba Avenue just east of I-77. They noted a fire in a stone-encircled firepit in the upper area of the family’s backyard in late November.


Court appearances

Her stepfather appeared in court Monday morning, with bail set at $200,000. Madalina’s mother’s first appearance was this morning with bond set at $250,000.

As of last night, the mother and step-father claim they don’t know where the 11-year-old is. Residents said they believe Madalina was the only child in the house.

Prayer vigil

Tonight at 7 there is a prayer vigil  at Smithville Park on West Catawba Avenue. It was moved from the Victoria Bay common area.

Organizers are asking people to park in Smithville Park on the other side of Catawba Avenue.


“Our community just wanted to do something, anything and this is our way of doing what’s needed right now,” one of the organizers said.

Description of Madalina

Madalina is 4 feet, 10 inches tall, has dark brown hair and weighs about 90 pounds. She was last seen wearing jeans; pink, purple and white Adidas shoes; and a white t-shirt and jacket.

Do you have a lead?

Police said anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the sixth-grader should call 704-892-7773 or the North Mecklenburg Crimestoppers at 704-896-7867. You can remain anonymous.

FBI poster for Madalina