The exact date of Madalina Cojocari’s disappearance “could indicate that the disappearance of the 12-year-old was planned,” warns the expert
THE date 12-year-old Madalina Cojocari disappeared could suggest her disappearance was actually a diseased conspiracy, a private investigator has warned.
Madalina was last seen on security footage getting off a school bus at local schools just before Thanksgiving, but was not reported missing by her mother until 22 days later.
North Carolina officials recently held a celebration for the missing Cornelius girl’s 12th birthday, stressing that detectives are looking for her every day.
The girl’s mother Diana, 37, and her husband Christopher Palmiter, 60, have been arrested and charged with failing to report a child’s disappearance.
The verdict came after police said Madalina’s mother had spoken to a distant relative involved in the drug trade to make plans to smuggle herself and her daughter out.
She tried to get away from Madalina’s stepfather as the two had a tumultuous relationship, police believe.
As officials begin to address the potential for human trafficking, private investigator Joshua Witte said the timeline of Madalina’s final moments could be a significant factor in determining whether or not her disappearance was fabricated.
Speaking exclusively to The US Sun, the PI said the fact Madalina disappeared before a break made the situation “more difficult”.
“If that was planned on purpose, it was possible that it was foreseen that she would disappear,” said the PI, who has worked on several human trafficking cases.
“It could have been a little more intentional.”
Cojocari and Palmiter initially shared different stories about what happened to Madalina.
Madalina went to bed around 10pm on November 23 after her parents got into an argument, the mother told police
She initially said that Palmiter left that night to visit his family in Michigan and “salvage some items,” but later changed her story to say that the next morning he went to his fit.
After allegedly leaving in the morning, Cojocari went into her daughter’s bedroom around 11:30 a.m. and saw that she was gone.
However, Palmiter told police he had not seen the girl for a week before taking to the streets, an arrest warrant said.
On November 26, the two accused each other of hiding Madalina when the stepfather returned.
Neither of them notified the police.
The PI said they “could have tried to cover for him” and that “they just didn’t discuss it before they lied.”
“I’m curious if she’s scared enough of him to represent him,” Witt speculated, suggesting that domestic violence could be at the heart of the case.
“A BIG PROBLEM”
Cojocari was reportedly in talks with a distant Moldovan family member to devise a plan to escape from her husband.
“It’s possible that she might have ties to people in more dangerous areas that she was trying to coordinate with to get her daughter out of there,” Witte said.
Witte winced at the mention of potential human trafficking, saying it’s “a huge problem that’s spreading around the world.”
“It just makes it a lot harder to find someone,” the private investigator said.
“It doesn’t mean people won’t be found, but because it’s so established, they have ways of avoiding detection by law enforcement for a long time.”
According to Witte, who also works in forensic investigations, federal agents’ technology will be essential to cracking a potential human trafficking pathway.
“I hope they’re able to really leverage the FBI’s federal resources to make that happen,” he told The US Sun.
“Sometimes local law enforcement doesn’t have what they need to really be prepared for this type of investigation.”
Local officials like Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham remain determined to find Madalina.
“We’re going to find Madalina,” she said at a recent community event.
“It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but we will not stop.”
Since the beginning of the investigation, Madalina’s mother has claimed that she does not know where her daughter is, despite allegations to the contrary.
Cojocari and Palmiter remain in custody on felony charges while investigations continue.