Vigil held for missing 11-year-old Cornelius girl as search continues

The vigil for the child – missing since last month – was held at a park near the neighborhood where Madalina’s house is.
The community remains hopeful that Madaline Cojocari will be found
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 5:08 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2022 at 5:53 AM EST
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CORNELIUS, N.C. (WBTV) - Neighbors joined together Tuesday night in song, in prayer and in hope of finding 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari.

The vigil for the child – missing since last month – was held at a park near the neighborhood where Madalina’s house is.

Search for Madalina Cojocari continues on Lake Cornelius
Search for Madalina Cojocari continues on Lake Cornelius

“Somehow I’m praying for a miracle that we will find her again, that we will hold her and reconnect with her and that this will not have a bad outcome,” Leanne Stefan said.

Stefan says her own granddaughter was best friends with Madalina for years. She remembers nothing but the good times.

“She seriously was always just full of life and just bubbly,” Stefan said. “Every time she would see Cameron, her and Cameron would literally just run to each other and hug each other and start playing. She was just a joyful little girl.”

Classmate Madison Hubschman, who was in third, fourth and fifth grade with Madalina, called her “a very sweet girl.”

Also 11 years old, Hubschman said she and Madalina would play together at recess. She added that she just wants to see her friend again.

“I would say, ‘Thank the Lord you’re okay,’ and I would say, ‘I miss you and I love you as a friend,’” Hubschman said.

Everyone at the vigil either knew Madalina or knew of her. They saw her face on the news, they lived next door, and they sent their kids on the school bus alongside her.

Tuesday morning, authorities say a video of Madalina being dropped back home after school on Nov. 21 was the last they saw of her.

New information has been released in the case of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari from North Carolina. (Source: WBTV)

Madalina was reported missing on Dec. 15, despite not having been seen for three weeks beforehand.

Her mother, Diana Cojocari, and stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, were both arrested on Dec. 17 for failure to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement.

Related: What goes into a search? We ask former law enforcement about Madalina Cojocari’s disappearance

At Tuesday night’s vigil, the feeling was one of broken hearts, but also hope.

Neighbors want to know where Madalina is. They want either a homecoming or justice for this little girl.