New Insight Into Madalina Cojocari’s Extended Family

CORNELIUS, N.C. – A small group gathered Thursday night in the Cornelius Town Square to hold a vigil for 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari. The girl has been missing for a month. Business owner and vigil organizer Jules Wyatt says, “I keep thinking about how cold it is outside, how wet is it outside, where is she, what’s going on with her? And we just don’t know. We just don’t know anything at this point.”

Madalina’s mother and stepfather, Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter, respectively, are both in jail, charged with failing to report her disappearance.

On Thursday, law enforcement released a hand-written letter from Madalina’s family. A woman who says she is Madalina’s cousin says that the letter was written by the Palmiter family. It says, in part, they are devastated and shocked she is missing. They thank everyone for their support, and ask people to keep sharing Madalina’s missing poster.

Across the globe, investigative journalist Iosefina Pascal is researching this case from Romania. She says Madalina’s case is getting some news coverage there, but not a lot. Pascal says Diana Cojocari’s family are very well-known and well-connected musicians in Moldova. Pascal says, “Her family is traditional, Christian-orthodox values, you can tell from their imagery.” Pascal wonders why Diana’s siblings and mother haven’t said anything about the case, and she wants to know what Diana talked about with her family when she told investigators she called them to tell them Madalina was missing. Pascal says, “Her family has the knowledge, the power, the connections, to really get involved in this.”

Pascal then delivered a message she hopes Diana sees from her jail cell in Mecklenburg County, telling the woman in her native language that she needs to tell the truth. Pascal says, “The only honest and normal thing to do at this point, because the truth will be found out either way, is for her to be honest.”

Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter will be back in court on December 28th for bond hearings. If Diana posts bond, she will be required to wear an electronic monitor.