Missed Crime Report! Missing 11-Year-Old’s Mother Identified as Suspect for First Time in 2022 Case

Missed Crime Report! Missing 11-Year-Old's Mother Identified as Suspect for First Time in 2022 Case

For the first time, the mother of an 11-year-old girl who has been missing since 2022 has been identified as a suspect in her daughter’s disappearance.

Authorities say that on November 21, 2022, Madalina Cojocari was last observed stepping off her school bus in Cornelius, North Carolina. According to a police report at the time, the sixth grader’s parents informed detectives that she had been missing since Nov. 23 but had not reported her missing until Dec. 15.

In a Facebook post earlier this week, the Cornelius Police Department officially announced that Diana Cojocari “is considered a suspect” in the girl’s disappearance.

When ABC News asked for comment, the police did not immediately reply and did not explain what information led to the mother being listed as a suspect.

According to Raleigh ABC station WTVD, the girl’s mother, Diana Cojocari, was freed from prison last month after spending over a year and a half in for neglecting to report her missing. Diana Cojocari, who was in the United States with a green card, was also reported by WTVD to eventually be deported back to her native Moldova.

According to WTVD, her husband Christopher Palmiter was also found guilty of neglecting to report his stepdaughter missing and received a 30-month supervised probationary term.

Missed Crime Report! Missing 11-Year-Old's Mother Identified as Suspect for First Time in 2022 Case

Image – WDBJ

Pictured in booking photos are Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.
Police stated in the post identifying Diana Cojocari as a suspect, “We want to #FindMadalina.” “This has been our priority since we learned she was missing.”


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In addition to encouraging people to keep posting Madalina’s picture on social media, police also requested people to contact them with any information that could help with their investigation.

The 11-year-old’s mother and stepfather “clearly” knew more than they were disclosing to investigators, according to police, who stated this shortly after the girl was originally reported missing.

MORE: Before the 11-year-old girl vanished, the mother urged a relative to smuggle her, according to the police. “This is a serious case of a child whose parents are clearly not telling us everything they know,” Capt. Jennifer Thompson said in a video at the time.

Diana Cojocari was contacted “several” times by the girl’s school between November 23 and December 15, according to police records, when the girl was first reported missing.


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According to the arrest document, dated December 17, the mother told police she had argued with her husband the night before and that she had last seen her daughter going to bed in her room on November 23. Palmiter drove to his family’s Michigan house the following day.

According to the arrest document, she informed officers that when she went to check on her daughter on November 24, about 11:30 a.m., she discovered the girl was not in her room. According to Cojocari, she didn’t ask Palmiter where the girl was until after he got home on November 26, at roughly seven o’clock in the evening.

MORE: According to authorities, parents ‘obviously’ know more about the missing 11-year-old
According to the arrest report, Palmiter informed police that he asked Cojocari where Madalina was when he got back from the trip.

In the charge sheet, authorities noted that when they “asked Diana why she did not report Madalina missing until” mid-December, she “stated she was worried it might start a ‘conflict’ between her and Christopher.”

“Chris stated he spoke with Diana several time[s] about Madalina’s whereabout[s] over the next three weeks,” according to the charge sheet, “and both stated they did not know where she was but they did not contact the police to report Madalina missing.”

According to a search warrant acquired by ABC News in March 2023, Madalina’s mother asked a relative if he could help sneak them out from their home before she went missing, claiming she was in a difficult relationship with her husband and wanted a divorce.

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