Cornelius police in North Carolina are hosting a birthday celebration for Madalina Cojocari, the 11-year-old girl who was last seen before Thanksgiving but not reported missing until weeks later.
Madalina’s mother, Diana Cojocari, and her stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, are behind bars, charged with failing to report a missing person, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Madalina’s last known sighting was November 21, 2022, when she’s seen on video getting off her school bus. Diana Cojocari has said the last time she saw the girl was on November 23, but she wasn’t reported missing until December 15, when she met with school officials who were investigating her daughter’s truancy. She told investigators that she feared reporting her daughter missing would put her family in danger and “start a conflict” with Palmiter.
Investigators have said they don’t believe either the mother or stepfather are telling them everything about the girl’s disappearance.
Late last month, Cornelius Police Chief David Baucom said the investigation is still very much in progress.
“We just can’t talk about it,” he said. “Just because we’re not talking about it, doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything.”
“We’re going to find her. That’s been our goal from the start,” Baucom said. “We’re going to find Madalina. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but we’re not going to stop.”
Madalina’s 12th birthday celebration will be held on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the west side parking lot of the Cornelius Police Department, 21440 Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.
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[Featured image: Madalina Cojocari/Cornelius Police Department]