'We’re not going to stop': Cops probe new leads as search continues for 11-yr-old Madalina Cojocari
CORNELIUS, NORTH CAROLINA: It's been over 100 days since Madalina Cojocari, 11, has been missing from her home in Cornelius, North Carolina on November 23, last year. Cornelius Police have sworn to relentlessly search for the girl saying, "We’re going to find Madalina. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but we’re not going to stop."
Madalina's mother, Diana Cojocari, and stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, were arrested and charged in January as they failed to report the child missing until December 15, a full 22 days after she disappeared. Cornelius Police are now investigating a possible link between the child's disappearance and drugs and human trafficking.
Mystery of Missing Madalina Cojocari: New timeline reveals chilling details about 11-yr-old girl
Search for little Madalina Cojocari: Inside Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter's whirlwind romance
'Police investigate possible human trafficking'
Despite not having any leads in the girl's mysterious disappearance, police claim this is not a cold case and they are looking for new leads all the time. Cornelius Police Chief David Baucom said on Tuesday, March 21, "The next steps are what we're doing now. We're still following up on leads. It is still an active investigation." He added, "This is not a cold case. We have detectives working this case every single day. We just can’t talk about it. Just because we’re not talking about it, doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything," as per The Sun.
The search to #FindMadalina continues. Her case is featured on https://t.co/p2RxF6UBoR as the "Most Wanted: Case of the Week." Please share the poster and if you have information to help find her, call the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773 or 1-800-Call FBI. pic.twitter.com/1fe5MEyPYR— FBI Charlotte (@FBICharlotte) December 21, 2022
Police investigating possible human trafficking believe Diana is revealed to have asked a distant relative to help "smuggle" her and her daughter away from her husband. The relative is alleged to have a connection with known drug traffickers, according to documents obtained by WCNC. Although Diana has maintained from the start she does not know where her daughter is. Diana and Christopher remain in custody on Felony charges. More than 40 percent of human trafficking cases are expedited by family members, according to US State Department.
'We’re not going to stop!'
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham said she was relieved to find that the search was continuing. She said, "I was glad to hear that they are working on it constantly. And they don’t consider it a cold case. It’s an active case. That made me feel a lot better." Cotham added, "I know everyone misses her - her family and her friends at her school," she said. "So hopefully she'll be returned soon." Baucom claimed, "We’re going to find her. That’s been our goal from the start." He added, "We’re going to find Madalina. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but we’re not going to stop."
"Madalina is described as having brown hair and brown eyes, being 4 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing around 90 pounds. "Madalina Cojocari was last seen at home in Cornelius, North Carolina, on the evening of November 23, 2022, and has not been seen since. She was reported missing her school on December 15, 2022. Madalina was last seen wearing jeans, pink, purple, and white Adidas shoes, and a white t-shirt and jacket," the FBI said, as reported by WCCB.
Anyone with information on Madalina's whereabouts have been urged to contact the Cornelius Police Department at 704-892-7773 or the North Mecklenburg Crimestoppers at 704-896-7867.