CORNELIUS, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Federal investigators went door to door on Monday, talking with people who live in the neighborhood of a missing 11-year-old girl.
Madalina Cojocari has been missing since Nov. 23, and law enforcement agencies are working to find her.
A vigil has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the corner of Victoria Bay Drive and Lake Village Blvd in Cornelius.
At first, it was easy to notice how quiet the neighborhood was. But all along Victoria Bay Drive in Cornelius, that quiet is shifting into something more.
“It’s heartbreaking, completely heartbreaking,” said Erin Bryd.
On Friday, Erin said she looked out her front window and saw police cars everywhere.
“They just blocked my mailbox; there were four of them,” she remembered.
She lives just a few houses from the home of the missing 11-year-old Madalina Cojocari.
“It just seemed so normal… it’s just that nothing stands out, you know? It’s kind of the even more confusing part,” said Erin.
Madalina was last seen on Nov. 23, but her parents didn’t report her missing until Dec. 15.
Her mother, Diana, and stepfather, Christopher Palmiter, have now been charged with failing to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement.
“Quite a trying experience for those who are working so closely to find this little girl,” said Cornelius Mayor Woody Washam.
Mayor Washam said this has never happened in his small town. Even though it’s hard, he’s trying to hope.
“I’m just hoping so, sincerely, that we find this little girl and find her very safe and sound,” said Washam.
For Erin, it just doesn’t make sense.
“Haven’t seen mom quite as much, but I have seen the stepfather out with the daughter just doing normal walks and stuff,” said Erin.
Every time she saw Madalina, she was going on walks or taking the bus to school. It all seemed so normal.
“The timeframe is just the biggest question mark here; I just don’t understand,” said Erin.
Underneath that quiet, questions continue to grow.