Search Warrant Reveals Mom Wanted To ‘Smuggle’ Missing North Carolina Girl From Home Before Child Vanished

madalina cojocari mom smuggle missing daughter north carolina
Source: FBI; Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office

Mar. 10 2023, Updated 2:40 p.m. ET

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The mother of a missing North Carolina girl made an attempt to try and sneak away with the child before her disappearance, according to authorities.

Newly released search warrant documents show Diane Cojocari, the mother of Madalina Cojocari, reached out to her distant relative, Octavian Cebanu, ABC News reported.

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Cebanu then made multiple phone calls to phone numbers belonging to unidentified targets who are involved in drug and narcotic trafficking investigations, officials said.

A canine search was conducted on Diane Cojocari’s car, and dogs alerted to narcotics inside the passenger-side door, according to cops.

Police documents also state officers believed the car may contain narcotics, drug paraphernalia or evidence of trafficking.

According to the warrant, items found inside the door included a Moldova Agroindbank debit card belonging to Diana Cojocari, Madalina Cojocari's Romanian and Moldovan passports, Diana Cojocari's Romanian passport and miscellaneous education and work certificates.

In the report, police wrote that typically “persons associated with narcotics activity are also associated with human smuggling.”

On Dec. 15, 2022, Diane went to her daughter’s school and reported her missing since Nov. 23, 2022, Front Page Detectives previously reported.

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Police were alerted and Diane told them she last saw her daughter on Nov. 23, when she went to bed at their home in Cornelius. Diane then had an argument with her husband, Christopher Palmiter, and the next morning he left to drive to his family’s house in Michigan, ABC News reported.

When she went to check on her daughter the next day, she said Madalina was not in her room, police said. She told police she waited until Palmiter returned to ask him if he had seen her daughter, and he denied knowing where she was. She claimed to police that she feared Pamiter put Madalina in danger.

A school official attempted a home visit after Madalina was not in school for days, but no one answered the door at the time, according to ABC News.

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Both Diane and Palmiter were arrested in December 2022 and are expected back in court on May 11.

Last month, the FBI Charlotte released a video from a school bus security camera, which showed Madalina exiting the bus around 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 21, officials said.

FBI Charlotte said, “This is the last time investigators have independent confirmation of when Madalina was last seen…We are seeking additional witnesses outside of the family to narrow down the exact timeline of when she disappeared.”


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