Authorities: Possible family member of Madalina Cojocari spotted in Madison Co.

She was last seen by the public on Nov. 21.
Law enforcement confirmed a family member of Madalina Cojocari was possibly seen in Madison County just before she was reported missing.
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 9:25 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As the search for 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari continues, police are now seeking information from people in and around Madison County, an over 2-hour drive away from where Madalina was last seen in Cornelius.

Cornelius Police Department confirmed a woman appearing to be Diana Cojocari, the mother of Madalina Cojocari may have been in the area between Nov. 22 and Dec. 15 in Madison County.

Sheriff James ‘Buddy’ Harwood of Madison County is helping investigators in the search for information surrounding the disappearance of Madalina Cojocari.

On Friday, WBTV reached out to the Sheriff’s Office but was told he was with the FBI and not available.

One of the family members was in the Madison County area. If anyone has any information please contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Office 828-649-2721.

Posted by Sheriff Buddy Harwood on Thursday, January 5, 2023

Madalina was last seen by the public Nov. 21 and wasn’t reported missing until Dec. 15. Her mother and stepfather, Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter, were arrested two days later for failing to report her missing.

Palmiter told authorities he traveled to and from Michigan during the time she was missing.

[TIMELINE: 44 days since 11-year-old Cornelius girl Madalina Cojocari was last seen]

WBTV talked to people in Marshall, a town in Madison County about the sheriff seeking information about Madalina’s disappearance.

“It’s devastating really, I hope she’s found, and I hope everything works out,” Lindsay Heigel, who works in Madison County, said.

People living and working in Madison County are glad to hear the sheriff is doing his part.

“I think it’s the duty of all sheriffs, all law enforcement to help each other out, when possible,” Jennifer Blalock said.

The disappearance of Madalina Cojocari was not widely known in Madison County prior to the sheriff’s social media post.

“Law enforcement is more often using social media to get their messages out, and so he may have touched a lot of people, a lot of people may have been alerted to this who don’t keep up with the news,” Blalock said.

Investigators want to talk to anyone who may have seen Diana Cojocari or a Toyota Prius in Madison County between Nov. 22 and Dec. 15, the three-week period before Madalina was reported missing to police.

“I hope anyone here who’ve seen her will report it and find this sweet girl,” Heigel said.

Investigators are continuing their search to find the missing girl. Madalina weighs approximately 90 pounds and was last seen wearing jeans, pink, purple and white Adidas shoes, and a white t-shirt and jacket.

Anyone with information about Madalina, the woman pictured, or a Toyota Prius in the area are asked to call the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773, the FBI at 1-800-Call FBI, or the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 828-649-2721.

Also Read: Judge to unseal documents related to Madalina Cojocari search