A recent report has alleged that the mother of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari from North Carolina had asked a distant relative to help “smuggle” her and her daughter from the clutches of her husband, with whom she had a difficult relationship.
As per ABC News, authorities have discovered that in a string of phone calls, Madalina's mother, Diane Cojocari, implored her relatives to take her daughter away, shortly before Madalina Cojocari disappeared from her home on November 23, 2022.
The piece of information was deemed significant as it provided investigators with a lead in finding the young girl, who was officially reported missing on December 15, 2022, three weeks after she was last seen at her North Carolina home.
Madalina Cojocari’s mother reportedly wanted to divorce her husband
As per WCB Charlotte, authorities said that as per Diane Cojocari's cell phone records, in the days leading up to Madalina's disappearance, the former had contacted her distant relative, Octavian Cebanu, on several occasions and also made multiple phone calls to people involved in drug and narcotics trafficking investigations. Cebanu reportedly told investigators that Diana asked him to help in “smuggling” her and her daughter away from their home. He also told investigators that Diana wanted to divorce her husband, Christopher Palmiter.
Authorities also revealed that they have gathered evidence against Diana Cojocari’s potential ties to narcotics trafficking. The evidence also included a Moldova Agroindbank debit card, work permits, education certificates, and Romanian passports for both Madalina and Diana Cojocari.
As previously reported, while Madalina was last seen on November 23, her parents waited three weeks before reporting her missing on December 15, after a school resource officer showed up at their doorstep for a welfare check. Shortly after, on December 17, 2022, the Cornelius Police Department arrested Madalina Cojocari's mother and stepfather.
“On December 17, 2022, at approximately 10:15 this morning, Cornelius Police arrested Madalina’s mother, Diana Cojocari, for Failure to Report the Disappearance of a Child to Law Enforcement. Cojocari never reported her daughter, Madalina Cojocari as missing after she was last seen in Cornelius on November 23, 2022.”
At the time, Diana Cojocari had told law enforcement that she did not notify the police immediately as she didn't want the investigations into her daughter’s disappearance to create contention between her and her husband.
Madalina’s mother told law enforcement that on the night of her daughter’s disappearance, her husband, Christopher Palmiter, abruptly left their home following an argument with her and drove to a family home in Michigan.
Diana Cojocari further claimed that she assumed that her daughter was being hidden by her husband. However, she did not ask Palmiter about her daughter’s whereabouts until November 26, despite not having seen her for days.
Meanwhile, her stepfather told the police that he hadn't seen his stepdaughter for a week before his trip to Michigan on November 23.