INVESTIGATORS continue to question the parents of a missing child as they urge the public to “flood the area with the girl’s face” in a desperate search.
Madalina Cojocari, 11, was last seen on November 21 but was not reported missing for three weeks.
The Cornelius Police Department issued a statement on Thursday thanking the community for sharing information about Madalina’s disappearance on social media.
“We still need your help to keep flooding the area with her precious face.”
Madalina’s mother and stepfather were arrested in mid-December for failing to report a missing child – Madalina was only reported missing on December 15.
Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter have been held in Mecklen County, North Carolina for over a month while investigators search them for more information.
dr Lisa Long, a Charlotte forensic psychologist, said the disappearance is likely taking a toll on the parents as police try to figure out why they didn’t report Madalina missing.
“Initially, parents might deny that the child is missing, sometimes you can see that,” Long said.
“You might also consider that the parent feels embarrassed or ashamed because of guilt. There can be situations where the parents are scared, they fear DSS will get involved with their family and they could lose custody.”
Long, who is not involved in this case, told WCNC that investigators are likely in contact with Madalina’s parents to explore their emotional responses.
“If the parent shows concern, the parent shows remorse,” she said.
“These are all things that are all taken into account, a person’s emotional response. One has to keep in mind that there is a wide range of acceptable and expected normal responses as this is not a normal situation for parents.”
The couple’s home in Cornelius was searched by police at least three times and several bags containing evidence were stolen.
Long said the area where Madalina lived was important information for investigators.
“It would be very important for them to consider the research in terms of protective factors and risk factors,” she said.
“Some of the risk factors are history of mental health problems, DSS involvement, history of incarceration, domestic violence, conflict even between parents, the general adequacy of the home environment.”
CPD said the Cojocari and Palmiters have not been cooperative in the past.
“If one of the parents has chosen not to provide information, or if it appears that they do not wish to provide certain information, particularly in relation to sensitive areas relating to the home environment, the child’s functioning, the parent’s Child relationship, these are all important areas to consider,” Long said.
When looking at a person’s ability to be a parent, Long said domestic violence or conflict between parents could also be a red flag.
Cojocari reportedly said she last saw her daughter walk into her bedroom around 10 p.m. on November 23, after she and Palmiter got into an argument.
When asked why she waited to report Madalina missing, Cojocari said she was “concerned it might spark a ‘conflict’ between her and Palmiter.”
Cojocari and Palmiter are scheduled to appear in court on March 2.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7190071/madalina-cojocari-parents-questioned-update-missing-child-north-carolina/ Parents of missing Madalina Cojocari are grilled by cops urging the public to ‘flood the area with your face’ in the desperate search.