A North Carolina police department searching for a missing 11-year-old girl released a letter written by the girl’s extended family pleading for her safe return.
Madalina Cojocari was last seen on November 23, according to her mother, who didn’t report her missing until December 15, after repeated contacts from the school about Madalina’s truancy.
Diana Cojocari, 37, and her husband, 60-year-old Christopher Palmiter, have been charged with failure to report Madalina’s disappearance, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
The Cornelius Police Department didn’t say who wrote the two-page letter. The mother’s side of the family is from Moldova, an eastern European country sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine.
“We as a family are devastated and absolutely heartbroken to learn that Madalina is missing,” the family wrote in the letter, dated Thursday. “We love Madalina and are shocked by these circumstances.”
“Madalina is a beautiful, smart, kind, 11-year-old with greatness in her future,” the letter says. “We are desperate to find her right now. She needs ALL of our help.”
Arrest records for Madalina’s mother and stepfather say that the two were fighting on the day the girl disappeared and that Palmiter drove off in a huff to retrieve items from his family in Michigan. The mother told investigators she believed Palmiter had put the family in danger, but the report doesn’t say what she meant by that. The report also says that she didn’t report her daughter missing earlier because she feared “conflict” with Palmiter.
Police said Cojocari told them she called her Moldovan family, who urged her to contact police, but she did not do so.
Palmiter returned on November 26, and he and Diana Cojocari fought over the girl’s disappearance until a school resource officer left a “truancy packet” on the front door on December 14, and Cojocari called the school and said she would be in with her daughter the next day. But she came to the school without Madalina and told the school resource officer she hadn’t seen her since November 23.
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[Featured image: Madalina Cojocari/police handout]