NC NC - Madalina Cojocari, 11, reported Missing Dec 2022 three Weeks After Last Seen, Cornelius, *Parents Arrested* #3

I’m feeling a little dense here as far as any defense CP could submit to get a not guilty verdict. I understand he’s entitled to a trial but beyond that it seems he’s just as responsible as DC insofar as neglecting to notify LE once Madalina was missing for 24 hours.

Is he going to claim that DC told him she safely moved Madalina but refused to tell him the location? Would that even exonerate him if he just took her word without question?

As I understand the law he’s considered a person who was involved in Madalina’s care so it was his responsibility to contact LE no matter what DC claimed.

Maybe I’m missing something, all I can figure is that CP is depending upon a sympathetic jury. Unless he has some bombshell to drop.

MOO of course.

Going off the assumption he's actually innocent of any wrongdoing - is it possible he didn't think he was legally obligated (since he had not legally adopted her [a presumption, since she still has her mother's surname], and DC has full, legal custody) to involve LE if she (DC) did tell him she sent Madalina off to live elsewhere AND he was led to believe Madalina was safe where she was?

I know, that's a lot of IFs and a lot of assuming. I honestly can't think of a way he's also not guilty of failing to report her missing either, unless it's something like that.
 
Again we are reminded this trial is being held for the limited purpose of a jury determining if CP is guilty or not-guilty of Failure to Report Disappearance of a child. Trial is not supposed to be about what happened to Madalina which is really difficult for me to accept.

Regardless of the verdict, CP will be released for time-served (like DC). He will either walk away with a clean record or a felony conviction, but he will be free.

Big question for me: Will DC and/or CP be served at a later date with warrant for trafficking or manslaughter or murder?
 
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The difference in MC's case is that she wasn't unenrolled to homeschool. At the time they requested to see her in person she was an unaccounted for public school student. Public schools being mandated reporters, the red flags were all over the place.

jmo
Could be or they could just think the parents hadn't gotten around to informing them. I don't know that most schools would think that indicated anything like this!

But if the school thought MC's absences were at a level where they needed to be reported, as mandated reporters, they should have reported the situation at that time, not continued to try to handle it themselves past that point in the first place.

And then, as I mentioned, once a student is unenrolled, she is no longer the school's concern, by law, in my state anyway.

And of course, there would also be no reason in the first place, for the parents to wait all that time to tell the school they'd taken MC out of school, if that was what they were going to do. They raised suspicion with the delay.

However, all just my opinion based on my knowledge and experience with the homeschooling laws in a state other than NC, and, of course, a moot point anyway.

Anyway, the discussion got sidetracked. I mean, sure, the school could still have reported the situation to LE or CPS if they thought it was warranted. There's nothing stopping them or anybody else from reporting anything they think should be looked into.

The point I was making was that the parents could have easily avoided the entire investigation by simply un-enrolling MC from the school (and they certainly didn't have to wait all that extra time to do so). The fact that they got caught out on that by not doing so or having any plausible cover story at all, makes it seem to me that they aren't very good at this. And yet, as I said, thus far, they do seem to have gotten away with it anyway...
 
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Going off the assumption he's actually innocent of any wrongdoing - is it possible he didn't think he was legally obligated (since he had not legally adopted her [a presumption, since she still has her mother's surname], and DC has full, legal custody) to involve LE if she (DC) did tell him she sent Madalina off to live elsewhere AND he was led to believe Madalina was safe where she was?

I know, that's a lot of IFs and a lot of assuming. I honestly can't think of a way he's also not guilty of failing to report her missing either, unless it's something like that.
1) If a jury is convinced that DC gave CP a story about Madalina voluntarily being elsewhere from Nov 21 to Dec 15
2) And jury is also convinced that CP believed that story, they will have to find him NG.
 
From the article that I linked above, here and in post #330 above:

Butler said Madalina’s guidance counselor, who called Palmiter but he never answered, will take the stand. She left him a voicemail, and Butler said that voicemail will be played. The counselor finally left one saying, “If you do not call me back, I’m coming to your house.”

Butler said the counselor went to the house and left a truancy packet after nobody answered. She never heard back from Palmiter at all.

Butler went on to say once Madalina was reported missing, Palmiter gave a detective four possible places Madalina may be. Butler told the jury they will see the recorded body camera video of the conversation, which captured the reasons Palmiter gave the detective, per Butler:

  1. She may be at a friend’s house, but he couldn’t give the name.
  2. Palmiter said he’s heard in the news that kids get kidnapped and maybe that happened.
  3. He thought she’d be in school
  4. Madalina has been in her room for the past 23 days.
Palmiter’s defense attorney, Brandon Roseman, started his opening statements by saying the state has made numerous assumptions about what happened in this case. His opening was brief but asked the jury to be fair.
I feel like he is still guilty of not reporting her missing unless 1 2 and 3 seemed to be a normal behavior somehow. But #2 any parent thinking #2 would have reported it.

From the site's live blog:

2:57 p.m.
Lampkin testifies she made "three or four" calls to Madalina's parents after Nov. 21, her last known day at school. She claims despite multiple attempts to call Christopher Palmiter, he never answered the phone. Lampkin says she also sent multiple emails to Palmiter about Madalina's absences. Voicemail messages will be played for the jury to hear.
The messages were pulled from Palmiter's Apple iPhone XR by an FBI forensics expert, along with text messages, emails, internet searches and other data."

I want to know what his internet searches were for, and why he never answered those calls. I also want to know why her MOTHER wasn't the one being contacted. When my kids were in public school there was always a primary contact, and that was always me. Dad was secondary.
I dont know about anyone else but my kids schools name pops up on my caller ID no matter if I have it saved or not. Why wouldn't you answer your childs school calls?
Here's the reason CP was contacted -- He was contacted after DC didn't respond.

Jesse Pierre
@JessePierre_
·
12m

Lampkin said she was starting to lose her patience after not getting any responses from Madalina’s parents. After several voicemails, she also sent several emails to Palmiter since mother had not responded by phone or by email.
I think Lampkin knew something was up. One of those gut feelings that something is not right. IMO. I am glad she continued to push.
 
I feel like he is still guilty of not reporting her missing unless 1 2 and 3 seemed to be a normal behavior somehow. But #2 any parent thinking #2 would have reported it.


I dont know about anyone else but my kids schools name pops up on my caller ID no matter if I have it saved or not. Why wouldn't you answer your childs school calls?

I think Lampkin knew something was up. One of those gut feelings that something is not right. IMO. I am glad she continued to push.
I agree. If your kid's (or your stepkid's) school calls, and especially if they call repeatedly, I definitely think the normal and expected thing to do would be to talk to them.
 
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From September 2023:

Brandon Roseman, Palmiter’s attorney, says his client has cooperated with police and believes Diana is hiding her daughter away.

“He told police on several occasions that he believes that Diana had taken Madalina somewhere into the mountains,” Roseman said. “He told detectives specifically that he believes Diana took her somewhere and that she is safe.”

“In these interviews he gave to police, he’s adamant that he does not believe Diana harmed Madalina. He believes that Diana fervently believes that Madalina is in danger from some unknown third party, apparently related to him placing money and assigning benefits to her in a 401K account, something that doesn’t make any sense,” Roseman said.

According to police, in a text message from Dec. 2, 2022, more than a week after Madalina’s disappearance, Diana indicated she was in the presence of the missing girl.


IMO that’s exactly what CP is going to claim, that he believed DC when she allegedly told him Madalina was safe.

Still, I’m not convinced that it excuses him from alerting LE after not physically having eyes on Madalina once 24 hours passed. But we can only guess how a jury would interpret his claim.

Moo
 
From September 2023:

Brandon Roseman, Palmiter’s attorney, says his client has cooperated with police and believes Diana is hiding her daughter away.

“He told police on several occasions that he believes that Diana had taken Madalina somewhere into the mountains,” Roseman said. “He told detectives specifically that he believes Diana took her somewhere and that she is safe.”

“In these interviews he gave to police, he’s adamant that he does not believe Diana harmed Madalina. He believes that Diana fervently believes that Madalina is in danger from some unknown third party, apparently related to him placing money and assigning benefits to her in a 401K account, something that doesn’t make any sense,” Roseman said.

According to police, in a text message from Dec. 2, 2022, more than a week after Madalina’s disappearance, Diana indicated she was in the presence of the missing girl.


IMO that’s exactly what CP is going to claim, that he believed DC when she allegedly told him Madalina was safe.

Still, I’m not convinced that it excuses him from alerting LE after not physically having eyes on Madalina once 24 hours passed. But we can only guess how a jury would interpret his claim.

Moo
Yep, there's just all kinds of hinkiness all around in this case. So much that it seems impossible to sort out. I mean, I'd think that if someone's wife was hiding a child based on strange delusions, their spouse would go on high alert and find that child ASAP, not just say, "Oh, you've hidden her somewhere, based on your strange delusions. Okey-dokey, then."
 
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This is a really good article that goes into more detail than the "X" posts and the blog. I'm posting a few bits that stood out to me, but the entire article is worth reading.


*****
The jury for the case was solidified on Friday. Attorneys selected 11 men and one woman. Seven of the men are dads.

The alternates are both mothers.
*****
The first witness the state called was the driver of the school bus Madalina was last seen on. Tina Rorie said she remembered Madalina’s name because, “her name was Madalina and my name is Tina.”

“She always thanked me when she got off the bus,” Rorie said.

“I didn’t see her smile a lot,” she also said.

Rorie said she would always see Madalina run from the bus to her house when she would get off, then would see her go in her house.

When asked if she’d ever see Madalina with any adults, Rorie said she once saw Madalina walk down the street with who she thought was her dad.

*****

The emergency contacts for Madalina were Palmiter and someone else who was not authorized to pick Madalina up.

Madalina’s birth certificate from out of the country was also shown to the court. The father portion of the birth certificate is notably blank.
*****
ADA Butler asked Lampkin if she had tried contacting that other emergency contact listed for Madalina. She said she did and that they were the only person the school had heard back from. They told the school that Madalina was sick.
*****
After she called the other emergency contact, Lampkin said the school was notified through an online portal that Madalina was out due to illness and her absences were then excused.
*****
(The article also goes into detail about the voice mails.)
 
One thing I wonder about here is how much of a "dad" CP actually was to MC. I'd think and hope that someone who has a child in their home for several years and is married to the child's mother would think of themselves as, and act as, a full "dad" to that kid. I also recall neighbors saying, early on, that CP was the one they usually saw outside with MC.

But still, what if he really wasn't? What if their arrangement was more like MC was considered DC's kid and DC's responsibility, and CP just really wasn't that involved with her? Especially if he didn't legally adopt MC.

That would be sad, but I'm wondering if that could have been their situation and how responsible CP would be for MC's welfare then, legally speaking. And is that the direction CP's attorney is heading in, as a defense? Like, that they'll claim that CP doesn't have a legal duty to report because he isn't MC's parent? MOO, and random thoughts.
 
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Okay, I just found this, in case it's of interest. I'm sure how it applies in this case, though. Also, I'm not sure what "dependent" means in this context, in the first sentence below. "...abused, neglected or dependent..."


Under North Carolina law, any person with cause to suspect that a child under 18 is abused, neglected, or dependent must make a report. This requirement is known as universal mandated reporting, and it extends to everyone, not just specific professionals1.


Additionally, as of December 1, 2013, it is a crime for a parent or caregiver to fail to report a missing child in North Carolina. Specifically, a person is guilty of this offense if they meet the following criteria:
  1. They are a parent or other person providing care to or supervision of a child.
  2. They knowingly or wantonly fail to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement2.
Therefore, if someone reasonably suspects that a child has disappeared and is in danger, they must promptly report it to law enforcement or the appropriate authorities. The parent or other person responsible for providing care or supervision of the child must make the report within 24 hours of the disappearance, while any other person who reasonably suspects a child’s disappearance must report it within a reasonable time1.**
Learn more
1wicws.dph.ncdhhs.gov2kirkkirklaw.com3wicws.dph.ncdhhs.gov
 
Okay, I just found this, in case it's of interest. I'm sure how it applies in this case, though. Also, I'm not sure what "dependent" means in this context, in the first sentence below. "...abused, neglected or dependent..."


Under North Carolina law, any person with cause to suspect that a child under 18 is abused, neglected, or dependent must make a report. This requirement is known as universal mandated reporting, and it extends to everyone, not just specific professionals1.


Additionally, as of December 1, 2013, it is a crime for a parent or caregiver to fail to report a missing child in North Carolina. Specifically, a person is guilty of this offense if they meet the following criteria:
  1. They are a parent or other person providing care to or supervision of a child.
  2. They knowingly or wantonly fail to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement2.
Therefore, if someone reasonably suspects that a child has disappeared and is in danger, they must promptly report it to law enforcement or the appropriate authorities. The parent or other person responsible for providing care or supervision of the child must make the report within 24 hours of the disappearance, while any other person who reasonably suspects a child’s disappearance must report it within a reasonable time1.**
Learn more
1wicws.dph.ncdhhs.gov2kirkkirklaw.com3wicws.dph.ncdhhs.gov
Thanks. Yes, that’s what I’ve been thinking all along, that it doesn’t matter how CP saw himself as far as a relationship with Madalina was concerned. As long as he, his wife and her daughter were residing in the same home he’s just as responsible for Madalina’s care and safety.

IMO he’ll have to convince the jury he was stupid enough to believe DC when she allegedly claimed to him that Madalina was safely hidden away. And even then the jury will have to agree that it was enough to excuse him from his responsibility.

If I was on that jury I know how I’d feel but we can only guess what this jury will believe. IIRC the jury is made up mostly of men?

Moo
 
Thanks. Yes, that’s what I’ve been thinking all along, that it doesn’t matter how CP saw himself as far as a relationship with Madalina was concerned. As long as he, his wife and her daughter were residing in the same home he’s just as responsible for Madalina’s care and safety.

IMO he’ll have to convince the jury he was stupid enough to believe DC when she allegedly claimed to him that Madalina was safely hidden away. And even then the jury will have to agree that it was enough to excuse him from his responsibility.

If I was on that jury I know how I’d feel but we can only guess what this jury will believe. IIRC the jury is made up mostly of men?

Moo
Or, his defense might be that he was trying to be respectful enough to believe DC when she allegedly claimed to him that Madalina was safely hidden away. And even then the jury will have to agree that it was enough to excuse him from his responsibility.

Who knows which way this will go.

The most important concern should be, where is Madalina??

Not who did/didn't do what & why.

jmo
 
Or, his defense might be that he was trying to be respectful enough to believe DC when she allegedly claimed to him that Madalina was safely hidden away. And even then the jury will have to agree that it was enough to excuse him from his responsibility.

Who knows which way this will go.

The most important concern should be, where is Madalina??

Not who did/didn't do what & why.

jmo
Yes I hate that it’s been emphasized that this trial isn’t about where Madalina is. I wonder how hard it’s going to be for the jury to keep that in mind.
 
So Mom admitted it, agreed to plead GUILTY, and is free now. Stepdad decided on a trial.

Is he trying to avoid having anything on his record, I suppose? Because Mom took the easy route and is probably feeling glad she is not on trial. She would definitely be found guilty as she has full custody, etc.

I am clinging to the slight possibility that Mom stashed her daughter away somewhere safe---but where and why?
 
ADA Butler asked Lampkin if she had tried contacting that other emergency contact listed for Madalina. She said she did and that they were the only person the school had heard back from. They told the school that Madalina was sick.
*****
After she called the other emergency contact, Lampkin said the school was notified through an online portal that Madalina was out due to illness and her absences were then excused.
*****
(The article also goes into detail about the voice mails.)
RSBM

Which begs the question, who is this "Sandy" person named as the other emergency contact, why was she more interested in taking the call from the school than either DC or CP, and did she (Sandy) then contact DC to tell her she better come up with a believable excuse to keep the school at bay?

I wonder if we'll even find out who this person is?
Right now it seems obvious this was all orchestrated by DC, with someone's help.

jmo
 
Here’s a good summary of the first day of Palmiter’s trial:

Roseman, Palmiter’s attorney, asked Lampkin about the school documents in the file that were shown to the jury.

Roseman said the documents showed that Diana Cojocari was listed as Madalina’s legal guardian, not Palmiter. Palmiter didn’t sign on a line designating legal guardians.

The father line on Madalina’s birth certificate was blank, Roseman said, showing the document.

Roseman asked Lampkin if she knew if Palmiter had any parental rights to Madalina, and she said she didn’t know.

He also noted that Lampkin couldn’t be sure that Palmiter lived at the address listed on Madalina’s school files. He asked if she knew whether or not he received the voicemails and emails, and she said she didn’t know. He said that because she doesn’t know his life or work schedule, she couldn’t be certain he ever received those communications.

Butler, however, showed the jury a deed to a house that was co-owned by Diana Cojocari and Palmiter. The address on the deed matched the address on Madalina’s school documents.

The trial will resume at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28.
 
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The trial has resumed.

Jesse Pierre

@JessePierre_
·
15m

Cornelius PD, Detective Bradley Nichols is being called to testify

Nichols is being asked about his duties, role since he has been with the dept since 2010Nichols has been involved in the case since Dec 15, 2022

The detective learned that Madalina was missing and had not been seen for weeksHe did respond to Bailey Middle school to assist

Detective says Palmiter told him he did not know where Madalina was.He told the detective that the last time he saw her was before he left for a trip to Michigan about Nov 22

Detective says Palmiter was described as Madalina stepfather. Palmiter shared more about their relationship like playing video games together, watching out for her getting off bus or going to friends

The body worn cam from the Detective and Palmiter intw is being admitted into evidence and will be played for jurors
 

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