Find Madalina: New photos released as search continues for missing Cornelius 11-year-old

CORNELIUS, N.C. — It’s been more than a month since 11-year-old Madalina Cojacari was last seen by anyone besides her parents.

On Friday, investigators from the FBI and Cornelius Police Department released two new pictures of Madalina. The photos show a joyful girl that loved horses.

Madalina’s mother and stepfather said they last saw her at their Cornelius home on Nov. 23, but her mother didn’t report her missing until three weeks later on Dec. 15. Since then, law enforcement and local community members have been searching for Madalina, hoping to bring her home safely.

Both parents are charged for failing to report the young girl’s disappearance to law enforcement and remain in the Mecklenburg County jail.


Madalina’s disappearance has gripped the community.

“I’ve kind of been consumed by the case,” Rachelle Charles, of Cornelius, told Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz.

A mother of two, Charles said the case hit home.

“My girls are 10 and 12, so she’s right in between their age, and I just can’t imagine the situation happening to a girl that age,” Charles said.

Investigators have remained tight-lipped about Madalina’s disappearance.

As many still wonder about the latest search efforts, others in the community have come together to support the 11-year-old.

“Who’s going to advocate for those who aren’t able to (have a) voice for themselves?” said Michelle Sutton, a missing child advocate. “I mean, Madalina can’t voice for herself, we don’t know where she’s at.”

Sutton, like others following the case, has taken to the web to spread the word about Madalina’s disappearance, including on a Facebook page named “Where is Madalina Cojacari?”

Nearly 5,000 people have joined and are sharing developments as they are released.

“You don’t know who you’re friends with on social media most of the time and so it may be someone in that area that shares that flyer that somebody sees or shared your video and someone else saw it that has seen one of these children,” Sutton said.

(WATCH BELOW: VIDEO: 11-year-old Madalina Cojocri getting off her school bus on Nov. 21, 2022, at 4:59 p.m.)

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.