Missing Madalina Cojocari’s parents ‘had no friends,’ were ‘quiet’ during group vacations, acquaintance says

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – The parents of missing North Carolina girl Madalina Cojocari “had no friends” and were mostly “quiet” during annual friend group vacations, according to an acquaintance of the family who attended the same vacations.

The 11-year-old’s parents, Diana Cojocari and Christopher Palmiter, have been arrested and charged with failure to report a missing child to law enforcement after Madalina’s disappearance from her hometown in Cornelius, which is just north of Charlotte, around Nov. 23, 2022, that went unreported for weeks.

“Our friend who we know [the Cojocari family] through said that to us, like, they had no friends. That’s why they would come to this family-friend get-together. That was really one of their only social times,” Michele Clark Triscitti, one of Diana Cojocari’s 16 friends on Facebook, told Fox News Digital. “I’m not close enough to them to have known that, and that just came to light when we spoke to our mutual friend about it.”

Clark Triscitti describe Diana Cojocari as “quiet” and “kind of on the outskirts” during the group vacation, which was organized by a big group of friends who were close with Palmiter “years ago.”

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Missing North Carolina girl Madalina Cojocari was last seen between Nov. 21 and Nov. 23.
(FBI Charlotte)

“Nothing out of the norm. . . . Just more of a quiet, to-themselves kind of family. They did engage and talk and interact and have conversations with everyone — just more quiet,” Clark Triscitti explained.

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Her son used to play with Madalina on the group vacations, but Clark Triscitti herself could not recall many interactions with the girl’s parents.

Investigators said Madalina, a 6th-grader, loves horses and ice cream.
(FBI Charlotte)

“We’re pretty shocked. My son would play with Madalina every year when we would have these vacations. They would hang out and play and do kid things, so yeah, it’s pretty shocking,” Clark Triscitti said, adding that Madalina was “one hundred percent” a normal little girl, based on what she had observed during the group trips.

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Cojocari is originally from Moldova, where Madalina was born. Clark Triscitti believes Cojocari moved to the United States with her daughter when Madalina was a toddler.

Cornelius police arrested stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, and her mother, Diana Cojocari, for failing to report the disappearance of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari.
(Mecklenburg County Detention Center)

Madalina’s disappearance wasn’t made known to police until Dec. 15, when Cojocari told school officials and local police that she had last seen her daughter go to her bedroom the night of Nov. 23 around 10 p.m. after she and Palmiter got into an argument, court documents state.

Security camera footage from a Cornelius school bus shows the 11-year-old girl exiting the bus Nov. 21 — the last day Madanalina, a 6th grader, showed up for class at Bailey Middle School — around 5 p.m.

A photo of missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari, who was last seen on Nov. 23, 2022.
(Twitter/@FBICharlotte)

On Nov. 24, Palmiter drove to his relatives’ home in Michigan “to recover some items.” Cojocari went into her daughter’s room around 11:30 a.m. that morning to discover that the 11-year-old was gone. She waited three days, until Nov. 26, when her husband returned home to Cornelius, to ask whether he knew where Madalina was.

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Palmiter told his wife that he did not know where Madalina had gone and asked her “the same question in return,” according to the affidavit.

Cornelius police are asking anyone with information regarding Diana Cojocari, mother of missing Madalina Cojocari, between Nov. 22 and Dec. 15 to contact police.
(Cornelius Police Department)

When detectives asked Cojocari why she waited until Dec. 15 to report her daughter missing, the mother said “she was worried it might start a ‘conflict’ between her” and Palmiter.

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Madalina’s family penned a handwritten note expressing their concern for the missing 11-year-old, which the CPD shared with the public Dec. 22.

Investigators on Thursday shared a handwritten, personal message from the family of Madalina Cojocari.
(FBI Charlotte / Cornelius Police Department)

“Madalina is a beautiful, smart, kind and loving 11-year-old girl with greatness in her future,” the family wrote. “We are desperate to find her right now, she needs all of our help.”

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The search for Madalina remains active and ongoing. The FBI is assisting the CPD with its search.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about Madalina’s whereabouts to contact the CPD at 704-892-7773.