Community Gathers For 12th Birthday Of Missing Cornelius Girl Madalina Cojocari

CORNELIUS, N.C. – The community came together on Tuesday night to mark the 12th birthday of a missing Cornelius girl.

No one has seen Madalina Cojocari since last November.

“12 years old, I hope she’s still alive,” says Cornelius resident Beverly Walker.

Walker, placing a “happy birthday” balloon outside the Cornelius Police Department on Tuesday night.

“My heart just breaks for the family, I mean if her mom and dad had anything to do with it, that’s pretty sad,” Walker says.

Madalina’s case touching Walker’s heart. She lost her own 12-year-old daughter in a bus accident in 1991.

“People that have not lost a child, (don’t) have any idea how it feels to lose a child,” she says.

Dozens gathered outside the department on Tuesday night to hope and pray for Madalina’s safe return.

The little girl was last seen getting off her school bus on November 21st, but wasn’t reported missing until December 14th.

Her mother Diana Cojocari and stepfather Christopher Palmiter remain in jail, charged with failing to report her disappearance.

“Honestly it’s a range of emotions. It’s terrifying to see a child disappear with no trace,” says Nathan Armis, with the Guardians of the Children motorcycle group.

Members of the group also attended on Tuesday night.

“She has an entire community of people here supporting her and people that care for her and love her and we hope for a safe return,” Armis says.

Cornelius Police remain tight-lipped about their progress in the case.

“Finding Madalina is our top priority. It has been since she was reported missing, and we’ll continue to search for her until we find her,” says Cornelius Police Chief David Baucom.

Baucom says the department continues to receive tips on a weekly basis.

“This is not something that any community ever expects to happen and when it does happen, you know, we’re going to do everything we can to resolve it,” Baucom says.

Anyone with information about Madalina is asked to call Cornelius Police. You can also submit tips online through the FBI.