'Heartbroken...desperate to find her': Family of missing 11-year-old pens handwritten plea for help

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Sunday, December 25, 2022
Family pens plea for help finding missing 11-year-old
Police released a handwritten letter penned by family members of a missing 11-year-old North Carolina girl.

CORNELIUS, N.C. (WTVD) -- Police released a handwritten letter penned by family members of a missing 11-year-old North Carolina girl.

An intense search ramped up this week for Madalina Cojocari, who was last seen Nov. 23 but was not reported missing until Dec. 15.

On Tuesday, authorities released surveillance video of the girl getting off her school bus on Nov. 21. Her mother and stepfather said the last time they saw Madalina was when she went to bed Nov. 23.

Madalina's mother and stepfather said they had been arguing and after the Thanksgiving holiday they repeatedly asked the other where Madalina was and if the other had hidden her away. Both adults told each other they did not know where the girl was, but they did not report her missing.

More details on the timeline of Madalina's disappearance can be found here.

On Wednesday, Cornelius Police Department posted a handwritten note on social media, saying it was from Madalina's family. However, the department has not clarified exactly which members of Madalina's family wrote the letter.

"We, as a family, are devastated and absolutely heartbroken to learn that Madalina is missing," the letter reads.

"This is something no child or family should ever have to endure," the letter continues, going on to say that the family is doing everything possible to find the 11-year-old and bring her home safe.

"Madalina is a beautiful, smart, kind and loving 11-year-old girl with greatness in her future," the letter read. "We are desperate to find her right now, she needs ALL of our help."

The family encouraged anyone with information to call investigators immediately.

SEE MORE: Mother, stepfather arrested for failing to report missing 11-year-old for weeks, police say

Madalina's mother and stepfather have both been arrested in connection to the girl's disappearance. They face criminal charges for not reporting her missing in a timely manner.

Investigators have spent multiple days at the family's home near Lake Norman, north of Charlotte. They've been seen taking pictures at the home and removing evidence.

Second vigil held for Madalina

A vigil was held to support Madalina Cojocari and the efforts to find her, the same day her family spoke for the first time in a letter released by Cornelius police.