Missing Madalina Cojocari ‘could be alive’ in eerie twist as mom’s ‘smuggling plot’ comes to light, expert warns

Missing Madalina Cojocari 'could be alive' in eerie twist as mom's 'smuggling plot' comes to light, expert warns

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NEW investigations indicate that missing Madalina Cojocari could still be alive after she disappeared over 100 days ago, an expert says.

Eleven-year-old Madalina was last seen on November 23, 2022, at her Cornelius, North Carolina home, however, she was not declared missing until December 15.

New investigations indicate that missing Madalina Cojocari could still be alive, an expert has said

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New investigations indicate that missing Madalina Cojocari could still be alive, an expert has saidCredit: FBI Charlotte
It was revealed the girl's mother Diana was in talks with a distant relative to plan a smuggling scheme in order to get away from her husband

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It was revealed the girl’s mother Diana was in talks with a distant relative to plan a smuggling scheme in order to get away from her husbandCredit: Mecklenburg County Detention Center
She and Christopher Palmiter have been arrested for failing to report a missing child

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She and Christopher Palmiter have been arrested for failing to report a missing childCredit: WCCB
Investigators are now searching for possible leads related to drug and human trafficking which could give hope that she is still out there

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Investigators are now searching for possible leads related to drug and human trafficking which could give hope that she is still out thereCredit: FBI

Detectives have shifted their investigation to pursue possible angles related to drug and human trafficking.

This comes after it was revealed that Madalina’s mother Diana spoke about a “smuggling plot” with a distant relative who was in communication with drug traffickers, court docs allege.

She was plotting a scheme for her and Madalina to escape her husband Christopher Palmiter, 60, who she had a turbulent relationship with, a search warrant reveals.

Cornelius police have not spoken publicly on the case since February 14, but said that the investigation is active and they wish to bring Madalina home, Captain Jennifer Thompson told local NBC affiliate WCNC.

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“Now we can start looking, doing a Venn diagram of family members and known associate and friend and their involvement in drugs, so it gives another investigative tool and gives more hope that the young girl is still alive,” law enforcement consultant Roy Taylor told the outlet.

“Maybe she was able to be smuggled to another area with family or friends who can keep her safe so that’s our hope, but we just don’t know.”

Around 41 percent of human trafficking experiences are facilitated by family members, according to the U.S. State Department.

Phone records show that Diana and the relative extensively communicated on December 2, 2022, nearly two weeks after Madalina was officially reported missing.

Records reveal the relative conducted “multiple calls to phone numbers belonging to unidentified targets involved in ongoing T3 drug/narcotic trafficking investigations,” according to court documents.

Cornelius police were seen with a German shepherd at the Cojocari home on February 13 for about two hours, WCNC reported at the time.

It was the first time authorities were spotted at the home in weeks, neighbors told the local outlet.

Investigators recovered more than 40 items connected to Madalina’s disappearance in separate searches at the family home conducted between December 15 and 30.

A spokesperson for the town of Cornelius previously told The U.S. Sun that finding Madalina remains a top priority, and they are working to provide a thorough investigation.

HARROWING VIDEO

Madalina was last seen on video on November 21 as she got off her school bus in North Carolina, according to the Cornelius police department.

Madalina was not reported missing until December 15, 2022, three weeks after she initially vanished.

Her mom, Diana Cojocari, reportedly claimed she waited three weeks to report her daughter missing because she was worried it would cause conflict with her husband, Christopher Palmiter.

Victor Cojocari, the girl’s grandfather who lives in Moldova, told local outlet TVN he last spoke to Madalina’s mother in October 2022.

The grandfather said he also occasionally got to speak with Madalina, who knows a little bit of Romanian, the primary language in Moldova.

Although Victor said the mother and daughter seemed happy, he claimed Diana could only call when her husband was out of the house.

Palmiter was reportedly against her staying in touch with her Moldovan relatives.

The couple had a fire in their backyard the night after Madalina disappeared and the stepfather went on a road trip to see family in Michigan the next day.

Both parents remain in custody after they were charged with failing to report a missing child.

Cojocari is held on $250,000 bail while Palmiter is held on $200,000.

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