Grand jury indicts Joseph Elledge for murder of Mengqi Ji
BOONE COUNTY - A Boone County grand jury indicted Joseph Elledge on Friday for first-degree murder for the death of his wife, Mengqi Ji.
Investigators believe Elledge strangled or suffocated Ji and disposed of her body in a river, according to details in a probable cause statement filed on Feb. 19.
The probable cause statement cites evidence of marriage problems and Elledge's various locations on Oct. 9, the day he said his wife disappeared.
Police searched a section of the Lamine River in Cooper County on several occasions, but didn't find Ji's body.
"We are empathetic and supportive of the needs of the family as they endure this tragic time in their lives," Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones said in a news release Friday. "Throughout the search, we have consistently been in contact with the family and appreciate their collaboration with us. As we continue to search for Mengqi Ji, we will continue to work with the family to help bring them a sense of closure."
Police said they will keep searching for Ji's body and other evidence, including areas in Callaway, Boone, Howard, Randolph and Cooper counties.
A grand jury previously indicted Elledge for child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.