Unsealed search warrants reveal latest details in hunt for missing 11-year-old North Carolina girl

CNNWire
Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Unsealed search warrants reveal latest in hunt for missing 11-year-old
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Unsealed search warrants are shedding new light on the case of an 11-year-old North Carolina girl who has been missing since November 2022.

Unsealed search warrants are shedding new light on the case of an 11-year-old North Carolina girl who has been missing since November 2022.

Madalina Cojocari was reported missing Dec. 15, but that was 22 days after her parents said they last saw her.

The search warrants show that investigators seized items -- including cellphones -- from the family's home between Dec. 16 and Dec. 30. Specific details on the items seized were redacted from the search warrants obtained by area ABC affiliate WSOC.

In one of the unsealed warrants, an investigator said they were looking for any evidence that showed a kidnapping may have happened. Neither of Cojocari's parents currently face kidnapping charges; right now, they are only charged with failing to report the disappearance of a child.

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

The warrants state that investigators were also looking for any biological evidence, like blood or hair or even an item that could have been used as a weapon.

On Monday, police revealed that they were searching for information about a Toyota Prius that Cojocari's mother possibly used while visiting a nearby county in the weeks following the girl's disappearance.

The Cornelius Police Department on Friday released a flyer with images of the girl, Madalina Cojocari, and her mother, Diana Cojocari, 37, who has been charged with a felony for allegedly not reporting her missing.

The girl's stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, 60, has also been charged. The newly released flyer did not include an image of Palmiter.

The last confirmed public sighting of Madalina Cojocari was on Nov. 22, the FBI's Charlotte bureau said. Bureau investigators in December released a video they said showed the girl getting off a school bus at her usual stop in Cornelius, a suburb north of Charlotte.

Her mother reported her missing at her school about three weeks later, on Dec. 15, after school officials repeatedly asked why she was absent, police said.

The girl's parents "clearly" know more than they've told investigators, Cornelius Police Capt. Jennifer Thompson said in a video in late December.