CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – As hope fades day by day in the search for missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari, a Mecklenburg County judge has now issued an order to seal court documents pertaining to the case, according to documents obtained Tuesday by Queen City News.
Presiding Superior Court Judge Carla Archie cited interference in the case in potentially releasing search warrants to the public and hindering the detectives’ ability to continue the investigation.
The order was issued on December 30th.
Cojocari’s stepfather Christopher Palmiter, 60, and her biological mother, Diana Cojocari, 37, have been held since last month on charges of failure to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement. They reported her missing to her school, Bailey Middle School, three weeks after they said they had last seen her, Cornelius Police said.
Cojocari’s bond had been set at $250,000 while Palmiter was held on a $200,000 bond.
Within Judge Archie’s court order, the judge said many facts not currently available to the public could hinder efforts in the search for the missing child. It also cites concerns over whether or not the parents could receive a fair trial if the information were to be released to the public.
Previously released court records showed Palmiter drove to Michigan on November 23, the night of her disappearance, following a dispute between him and the mother. Palmiter was told by Cojocari about Madalina’s disappearance three days later, records showed, and Cojocari told authorities she waited three weeks to report her disappearance because she was worried it would affect her relationship with her husband.
Cornelius Police confirmed Madalina had been living at the home, and Palmiter told police the last time he’d seen Madalina was a week before he left for Michigan. Cojocari and Palmiter were married.
Charlotte FBI and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations are involved in the investigation. Agents were seen going door-to-door on Monday at homes in the Cojocari neighborhood shortly after her parents reported her disappearance.
While hope fades each day in finding Cojocari alive and healthy, multiple vigils within the Cornelius community have taken place, and billboards have popped over town asking for the public’s assistance.
The district attorney’s office has said in court during bond hearings that the mother begrudgingly reported her missing and that she has already hindered the investigation.
Both Cojocari and Palmiter have requested public defenders from the judge.