Vigil Held In Cornelius For Missing 11-Year-Old Girl Madalina Cojocari
CORNELIUS, N.C. – Hundreds came together for a prayer vigil for 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari on Tuesday night.
The community is demanding answers after the little girl disappeared and wasn’t reported missing for three weeks.
“Of course it’s been beyond unbelievable,” says Leanne Stefan.
Stefan came with her granddaughter Kamren, who became close friends with Madalina in the 2nd grade.
“She was a precious child. She loved horses, she loved kitties. Her and my granddaughter shared in that bond and just hit it off,” Stefan says.
The girl’s mother Diana Cojocari and her stepfather Christopher Palmiter are both in jail, charged with failure to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement.
Diana Cojocari appeared in court on Tuesday.
An arrest sheet is revealing new details about the timeline of what happened.
Madalina was last seen getting off at a school bus stop near her home on November 21st.
Then on December 12th, a Bailey Middle School Resource Officer and a Counselor visited the family home, but no one answered the door.
Two days later, Madalina’s mother called the Counselor saying she would bring the girl to school for a meeting the next day.
That’s when she admitted Madalina has been missing since November 23rd.
Diana Cojocari told police she and Madalina’s stepfather, Christopher Palmiter had an argument the night before Madalina disappeared.
She says the next morning Palmiter left for two days and went to his family home in Michigan to “recover some items.”
When he returned on the 26th, they questioned each other about where Madalina was, but both said they didn’t know.
Madalina’s mother told police she did not report the little girl missing because she was worried it might cause a “conflict” between her and Palmiter.
Over the past several days, FBI, SBI, and local police have searched inside and outside the family home and on the water at Lake Cornelius.
Back at Tuesday night’s vigil, the community just wants answers.
“We can’t give up hope. And I know we’re all praying and I believe our God is big enough to do miracles. So I pray that this has a good ending,” Stefan says.
Tuesday, Diana Cojocari’s bond was raised to $250,000.
If she gets out, she’ll be on ankle monitoring.
Anyone with information is urged to call Cornelius Police or the FBI.