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Cornelius News

Still missing Madalina: Saturday marks 2 months

Missing Madalina: Candle-light vigil in Smithville Park

Jan. 20. By Dave Yochum. The search for 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari, who was last seen publicly on Nov. 21, continues unabated. As the two-month mark approaches, Cornelius Police have logged countless hours in the quest to find the Bailey Middle sixth-grader.

Her mother and step-father, who said they last saw her Nov. 23, remain in Mecklenburg County Jail. Diana Cojocari, 37, and Christopher Palmiter, 60, have been in custody since Dec. 17. They have been charged with failure to report a missing child.

It was three weeks before Madalina was reported missing.

Chief Baucom

Madalina is 11 years old and loves ice cream

“We have no less than 3 or 4 detectives working this case and following up on leads every day,” said Chief of Police David Baucom.

The NC State Bureau of Investigation as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation have agents from one or both agencies on-site at CPD nearly every day.

“Our highest priority is to find Madalina and we will continue to dedicate as many resources as we need to until we get this case resolved,” Baucom said.


Nov. 21: CMS video shows Madalina getting off a school bus in Victoria Bay.

Nov. 23: Date that Diana Cojocari says she last saw Madalina, at 2200 hours. Mother, stepfather also argue.

Nov. 24: Date Palmiter says he drove to Michigan to “pick up items.”

Dec. 17: Mother, step-father arrested.

Dec. 20: Prayer vigil at Smithville Park.

—Police have seized three cell phones; the mother stated Madalina did not have a phone.

—A search warrant says “persons who commit crime often change the phone numbers they use to communicate following their commission of crime. However, these individuals often continue to communicate with associates through alternate means, including newly established cellular telephone numbers.”

—Diana Cojoari has said her husband “put the family in danger.”

—Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter remain in jail, with bail set at $250,000 and $200,000 respectively.

Anyone with information on Madalina’s whereabouts is being asked to call the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773 or the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI. To remain anonymous, call North Mecklenburg Crime Stoppers at 704-896-7867.

FBI poster for Madalina