Mom of missing North Carolina girl Madalina Cojocari allegedly flees US after being named suspect in daughter’s 2022 disappearance

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North Carolina police fear the mother of Madalina Cojocari, who vanished in 2022, has fled the US just weeks after she was named a suspect in her daughter’s 2022 disappearance, according to reports.

The startling revelation came after a photo allegedly showing Diana Cojocari on a plane heading to Eastern Europe with her mother sitting behind her was posted to the Facebook group “Where is Madalina Cojocari?” on July 6.

“On the way from New York JFK to Frankfurt then Bucharest…. after 9 years of absence from the country…” the post’s caption read.

Diana Cojocari allegedly posted a picture of herself on a plane out of the country just weeks after she was named a suspect in her daughter’s disappearance. Diana Cojocari / Facebook

The Cornelius Police Department said it was aware of the photo but could not confirm when it was taken or Cojocari’s current whereabouts.

“The police department is aware of the posts that indicate Diana Cojocari may have left the country however we are unable to confirm this information,” Cornelius Police Chief David Baucom told The US Sun Tuesday.

Baucom said police are “unable to prevent (Cojocari) from leaving the country” and that she does not “currently have any active warrants for her arrest.”

Cojocari, who was born in Moldova and holds citizenship there, has several family members and friends who reside in the eastern European country, according to The Sun.

Cojocari’s neighbor claimed to have seen Cojocari placing suitcases in a car with two people inside last Tuesday afternoon and then driving off — five days before the photo of the mom circulated on social media, according to WCCB.

The Cornelius Police Department said it was aware of the post but has not confirmed whether it was taken recently or Cojocari’s current whereabouts. Diana Cojocari / Facebook

He told the outlet he had not seen her since.

Police confirmed they confiscated Cojocari’s passport when she was arrested in December 2022 and never gave it back.

However, a source in the department told the outlet that she may have applied for an emergency passport, which would have allowed her to leave the US.

Police say they have not spoken with the mother since she was released from jail in May.

A Romanian reporter has claimed Cojocari is not in Moldova, but in neighboring Romania, according to WCCB.

Baucom said police are “unable to prevent (Cojocari) from leaving the country” and that she does not “currently have any active warrants for her arrest.” Queen City News WJZY

Bucharest — the capital of Romania, where the post alleged Cojocari would be traveling — is about 200 miles from the border of Moldova.

The US has an extradition treaty with Romania, but not with Moldova, according to the US Justice Department.

Madalina Cojocari was last seen publicly on Nov. 21, 2022, when she was getting off her school bus from Bailey Middle School.

But, her mother didn’t report her as missing until nearly a month later after a school resource officer pressed her on the girl’s prolonged absence from class.

Madalina Cojocari has been missing since Nov. 23, 2023.
The sixth-grader was last seen getting off a school bus in November 2022.

Cojocari, 37, and the girl’s stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, have both been arrested and charged with failure to report their child as missing in December 2022, just weeks after Madalina was last seen.

Cojocari initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, but later accepted the guilty verdict and was sentenced to 24 months in a maximum security prison.

She was released from prison after serving 520 days behind bars.

On June 25, the Cornelius Police Department said they were continuing to seek information in their search for the missing schoolgirl and considered Cojocari a suspect in their investigation.

Since the mother’s release, investigators put out a flyer with Diana’s face next to her missing daughter and believe she may know or have something to do with her daughter’s disappearance. Cornelius Police Department

However, law enforcement was unable to file any new charges against Cojocari.

Palmiter, who stuck by his non-guilty plea, was found guilty of failing to report his stepdaughter’s disappearance and sentenced to 30 months of supervised probation in June.

He has not been named a suspect in his stepdaughter’s disappearance.

Nearly 19 months after Madalina vanished in North Carolina, the Cornelius Police Department told Inside Edition on July 1 that they believe the missing 13-year-old is still alive.

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