CORNELIUS, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The family of 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari, the missing girl in Cornelius, says they’re “devastated” and “heartbroken.”

For the first time, we’re hearing from Madalina’s family in a handwritten letter sent out on social media from the Cornelius Police Department.

“We love Madalina and are shocked by these circumstances. This is something no child or family should ever have to endure,” the family said in part of the letter.

Also, a couple in Madalina’s neighborhood, Victoria Bay, just had signs made, and they put them up at the neighborhood entrance Thursday morning.

The signs come hours after police raided Madalina’s home carrying out items and what appear to be envelopes. As of Thursday evening, the search warrant that would likely reveal more details about the search had still not been processed. The courts won’t reopen until Wednesday due to the upcoming Christmas holiday.

Community Holds Another Vigil

About eight concerned community members gathered Thursday night outside In Tune Soul Sangha Wellness and Meditation Center for the second prayer vigil.

“I thought it was good to see that they care and they’re concerned. It’s still so complicated. We don’t have all the details,” neighbor Raven Seltzer said.       

The group lit candles, shared inspirational words, and meditated.

“There’s a lot to say for that. For everybody to come together and let her know that she’s loved. And let her know that she’s good. And the world was not supposed to be like this for her,” said In Tune owner Jules Wyatt. “I’m never going to give up home that there’s a positive outcome because we don’t know.”

The first prayer vigil, held on Tuesday outside Madalina’s neighborhood, saw about 200 people.

“It’s just a shame that this little girl didn’t have more friends, and that people didn’t notice something was wrong sooner,” said Seltzer.

Mom Tells Police About Madalina

Exactly one week ago, Madalina’s mother told authorities at her school, Bailey Middle School, she would show up there with Madalina and explain why her 11-year-old daughter had not been to school in three weeks.

Mom Diana Cojocari came to the school without her daughter. Police say she said she had not seen her daughter since Nov. 22 and that she waited until confronted by police to report her daughter missing. They say she was worried it would create a “conflict” between her and her husband, Madalina’s stepdad, Christopher Palmiter. 

The couple is in jail for not reporting their daughter missing to the police.

Neighbors are just baffled by the case of the missing girl.

“As a mom, I can’t understand this situation. My children were right by me all the time to go to bed and not have them in the room, my daughter lives in Mooresville, and when she leaves, I say, ‘Honey, text me when you get home,’ I mean that’s just what a mom does,” one neighbor who didn’t want to use her name told Queen City News.

The full handwritten letter from Madalina’s family sent out by the Cornelius Police Department reads:

Dec. 22, 2022

We, as a family, are devastated and absolutely heartbroken to learn that Madalina is missing. We Love Madalina and are shocked by these circumstances. This is something no child or family should ever have to endure. Our family is doing everything we know to do to support the efforts to find Madalina and bring her home. We are and continue to have hope and positivity in this difficult time and pray that she is found safe. Very soon.

We know and greatly appreciate that the local, state, national and online communities have come together to share fliers, offer positive support, hold prayer vigils, support law enforcement and are doing everything possible to find and bring Madalina safely home. We are also appreciative of all the efforts, endless hours, and boots on the ground of the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies involved with the same goal.

Madalina is a beautiful, smart, kind, and loving 11-year-old girl with greatness in her future. We are desperate to find her right now. She needs ALL of our help. We ask for your continued, positive support in sharing far and wide the posters and pictures of Madalina. Each and every time you share a flyer, maybe it’s one step closer to finding her. If you believe you have seen Madalina or have any information related to her whereabouts, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the Cornelius, NC police department and come forward with this information. Anything may help.

Our family would like to express sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for your support. Our family will continue to do everything we know and learn to do for Madalina’s safe return home.