Jan 6, 2023 - News

What to know about the disappearance of 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari from Cornelius

Madalina Cojocari. Source: Cornelius Police Department

We are approaching the 50th day since 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari was last seen getting off her school bus in Cornelius.

  • Information that has come to light over the last few weeks has drawn national attention to the story of the local girl’s disappearance. Madalina’s mother and stepfather have been indicted for not reporting her missing for multiple days.

The latest: Cornelius police is seeking information about Madalina’s mother’s whereabouts in Madison County, near Asheville, from Nov. 22 to Dec. 15, just before Madalina was reported missing.

  • She and her husband, Christopher Palmiter, have said that he was visiting Michigan around the time of Madalina’s disappearance.

Here’s a timeline of events:

  • Nov. 21: Surveillance video captures the last time Madalina was seen in public, on the school bus around 5pm.
  • Dec. 12: A Bailey Middle School school resource officer goes to Madalina’s home to ask about her absences. The officer leaves a truancy packet when no one answers the door.
  • Dec. 14: Diana Cojocari visits the middle school. According to WBTV’s reporting of an arrest sheet, Diana Cojocari had told the school counselor she would bring her daughter to the meeting. When she shows up without Madalina, she says she has not seen her daughter since the night of Nov. 23. She says she and Christopher argued that night, and she noticed Madalina was not in her room around 11:30am the next day. At this point, Christopher Palmiter said he had left for his trip to Michigan. He told police he believes he last saw Madalina a week before the trip.
  • Dec. 15: Madalina is officially reported missing by Cornelius Police Department.
  • Dec. 17: Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter are arrested for failing to report Madalina’s disappearance to law enforcement.
  • Dec. 19: As a precautionary measure, the FBI searches Lake Cornelius.
  • Dec. 20: Prosecutors say Diana Cojocari “hindered the investigation” and “begrudgingly” reported her daughter missing.
  • Dec. 21: Police are seen searching the family home.
  • Jan. 3: Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter are indicted by a grand jury.
  • Jan. 6: Cornelius police seeks witnesses who saw Diana Cojocari or a pictured Toyota Prius in Madison County in the weeks before her daughter was reported missing.
  • Jan. 9: Diana Cojocari is scheduled to appear in court again, according to WBTV.

Details: Madalina weighs around 90 pounds. She was last seen wearing jeans, shoes, a white T-shirt, a jacket, and pink, purple and white Adidas shoes.

Anyone with information about Madalina should contact the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773.

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