Madalina Cojocari

Madalina Cojocari: Mom Wanted to ‘Smuggle’ Missing NC Girl from Home Before Her Disappearance [Warrant]

The mother of missing North Carolina girl Madalina Cojocari got in touch with a relative in an attempt to sneak away from home with her daughter, prior to the child’s disappearance, search warrants revealed.

According to the newly-released search warrant documents, Diana Cojocari asked a “distant relative” the help get her and her daughter out of their Cornelius residence and away from her husband, Christopher Palmiter, 60, due to a “bad relationship.”

The Charlotte Observer reports that the conversation between Cojocari and the relative happened on December 2, 2022, according to the warrant.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, police arrested Cojocari in December for failing to report 11-year-old Madalina missing. Madalina hasn’t been seen since November 21, 2022; police learned about her disappearance a month later, when a Cornelius school resource officer contacted the defendant about the child’s absences.

Cojocari told detectives that she didn’t immediately report Madalina missing because she was concerned that Palmiter would put her family in danger and that it “might start a conflict” with him.

Palmiter was also arrested in December and charged with failure to report a child missing.

“She told him she was in a bad relationship with co-defendant Christopher Palmiter and wanted a divorce,” the warrant read.

Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter/Police Handout

Previous arrest records state that Cojocari and Palmiter were arguing the night Madalina disappeared. Cojocari reportedly claimed that she feared Palmiter put Madalina in danger.

The latest court documents indicate that a K-9 police dog picked up on a narcotics smell inside Cojocari’s green 2008 Toyota Prius during a February 10 search. Police seized the car, along with Cojocari’s Romanian passport, a Moldovan debit card, Madalina’s Moldovan and Romanian passports, and miscellaneous documents found inside the vehicle.

The relative Cojocari reached out to allegedly made multiple calls to “unidentified targets” said to be involved in ongoing narcotic trafficking investigations, according to court documents.

Police wrote in the search warrant that typically, “persons associated with narcotics activity are also associated with human smuggling.” No drugs were found in Cojocari and Palmiter’s home.
Madalina Cojocari

A previously-released affidavit said Palmiter left for Michigan around the time of Madalina’s disappearance, although there has been conflicting information on exactly when he left.

Both Cojocari and Palmiter are expected back in court on May 11.

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.

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]