The Cornelius Police Department in North Carolina is asking the public for assistance regarding a car that could possibly hold clues about where missing 11-year Madalina Cojocari is.
On Friday, Cornelius police announced on social media that “one of the family members” of the missing child was in the Madison County area when she disappeared. Police included two photos of Madalina’s mother, 36-year-old Diana Cojocari, in an updated flyer, along with a photo of a Toyota Prius.
“We are seeking firsthand eyewitness information from anyone who may have seen this Toyota Prius or white female in the Madison County area between the dates of November 22rd, 2022 to December 15th, 2022,” police wrote.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Madalina was reported missing in Cornelius on December 15, although her mother says she hasn’t seen her since November 23. The FBI and several other agencies, including the State Bureau of Investigation, have joined the search efforts and investigation.
According to an arrest affidavit, Cojocari told detectives that she didn’t immediately report Madalina missing because she was concerned that her husband, Christopher Palmiter, 60, would put her family in danger and that it “might start a conflict” with him.
The affidavit also said Palmiter left for Michigan around the time of Madalina’s disappearance, although there has been conflicting information on exactly when he left. Palmiter and Cojocari were arrested and charged with failing to report Madalina missing.
Last month, the FBI released footage from a school bus security camera, which showed Madalina in a white shirt and backpack as she exited the bus at 4:59 p.m. on November 21 in Cornelius.
“This is the last time investigators have independent confirmation of when Madalina was last seen. She got off the bus on 11-21-22, at 4:59 p.m. We are seeking additional witnesses outside of the family to narrow down the exact timeline of when she disappeared,” the FBI Charlotte said.
Police said Cojocari “begrudgingly” reported her daughter missing three weeks later, as she “was worried it would affect her relationship with her husband.” The pair reportedly had an argument the night Madalina disappeared, when Palmiter left for Michigan, where his family lives. He returned home on November 26.
Madalina was officially reported missing after school officials arrived at the home for a truancy check on December 12. On December 15, Cojacari met with school officials, and a missing persons report was subsequently filed.
Madalina is described as a white female who stands 4-feet-10-inches tall and weighs around 90 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on Madalina should call the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773. To remain anonymous, call North Mecklenburg Crime Stoppers at 704-896-7867.
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[Featured image: Police Handout]