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A Missing Girl From North Carolina’s Stepfather Was Found Guilty of Failing to Report the Child’s Loss


Christopher Palmiter, the stepfather of missing Cornelius girl Madalina Cojocari, was found guilty of failing to report the loss of a child to police on May 31.

FOX 8 Greensboro reports that it took the Mecklenburg County jury 15 minutes to decide what to do after Palmiter’s hearing lasted a week.

It was his job to keep an eye on her, but he failed. On Friday, Mecklenburg County prosecutor Austin Butler said, “That’s why he’s sitting in this seat.”

In Cornelius, which is just north of Charlotte, Madalina was last seen getting off a school bus on November 21, 2022. She was 11 years old at the time. Since then, the police have not been able to find her.

Diana Cojocari, her mother, pleaded guilty to the same charge as Palmiter last month. The Moldovan Diana and Pamliter didn’t tell the police that their 11-year-old daughter was missing until December 15, 2022, even though they had told police that the last time they saw her was at home on November 23, 2022.

FOX 8 reported that the judge in Mecklenburg County gave Palmiter a 30-month suspended sentence of supervised probation. Palmiter’s lawyer could not be reached for comment right away.

Palmiter’s lawyers said Diana tricked him into thinking his sister was safe when she actually went missing. FOX 8 reports that the prosecutors used proof from an FBI analyst who showed phone and email records that showed Palmiter knew Madalina was missing but did not report her disappearance to the police.

“I think Diana took her somewhere with her Moldovan family,” Palmiter said in court, according to FOX 8. “I believe Diana has tucked her away somewhere where she’s not going to be found.”

Diana told school officials and Cornelius Police that she hadn’t seen her daughter, a Moldovan-born sixth-grader at Bailey Middle School, since she went to her room after a fight with Palmiter on November 23, 2022, around 10 p.m.

Palmiter said that after a fight with his wife on November 24, 2022, he drove to the Michigan home of cousins “to get some things back.” An statement says Diana went into her daughter’s room around 11:30 that morning and saw that the 11-year-old was gone.

Diana asked Palmiter where their daughter was when he got back to Cornelius on November 26. Palmiter also asked Diana the same thing, the statement says.

Soon after Madalina’s parents reported her missing last year, they wrote her a note in which they were worried about her. On December 22, the CPD shared this note with the public.

Search warrants that came out last year show that Diana and her mother called a distant cousin and asked if he could help them “smuggle” Diana and Madalina out of their Cornelius home before Madalina went missing. The Cornelius Police Department got phone records that show this conversation.

“She told him she was in a bad relationship with co-defendant Christopher Palmiter and wanted a divorce,” it says.

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