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Cornelius News

Stepfather of Madalina Cojocari files for divorce

June 11. By Mark Washburn. Christopher Palmiter, stepfather of missing Cornelius teen Madalina Cojocari, filed divorce proceedings Monday against his estranged wife, Diana Cojocari.

Palmiter, 61, found guilty this month of failing to report the disappearance of his stepfather and released on probation based on his time served in jail, married Cojocari in January 2016 after several years of online courtship.


She had arrived in the United States from her native Moldova with her toddler daughter a few weeks before the Winston-Salem wedding after about two years of legal action paid by Palmiter to secure immigration documents for them.

The trial

In his eight-day trial, Palmiter admitted that the marriage had never been consummated and gradually spiraled into a tormented relationship where his unemployed wife regularly hectored and mocked him.

Throughout, Palmiter testified, he and Madalina had a close relationship until she mysteriously disappeared on Thanksgiving weekend 2022. He said when he asked his wife where she was, she would refuse to answer and reply acidically, “Do you know where she is?”

D Cojocari

Cojocari, 39, was released from the Mecklenburg County Jail in late May after serving 17 months for the same charge Palmiter faced, failing to report the disappearance of a child under parental care.

After her release, she returned to their Victoria Bay home. Palmiter said he found her sleeping on their porch and let her come inside and spend the night. One of Palmiter’s relatives took her the next day to a Huntersville hotel, he said, because he did not want her around the house.


Based on the felony conviction, she faces possible deportation to Moldova.

In court papers that originated late last week before an Iredell notary, Palmiter said the couple had been separated since Dec. 7, 2022, when both were arrested on the failure to report charge.


FBI poster for Madalina


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