Lamine River search called off until Tuesday, attorney for Mengqi Ji's family says parents "heartbroken"
BOONVILLE - Emergency crews continued searching the Lamine River for the body of Mengqi Ji Elledge Friday, marking the fourth straight day at a location around a bridge in Cooper County.
Multiple Columbia and State units have been working together on the search. A dive team was also assembled and has been searching.
Columbia Public Information Officer Jeff Pitts told KOMU that there's several feet of debris under the water, making the search more difficult.
At one point, crews lowered a basket into the water, but found nothing.
PIO Jeff Pitts told reporters on scene they dropped a stokes basket into the water but did not come up with anything. @KOMUnews— Morgan Riddell (@MorganRiddelll) December 6, 2019
The search was suspended as officers investigated found a bucket filled with mud.
Amy Salladay, the attorney for Mengqi Ji's parents, Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji, told KOMU in an email the family is grateful for the search, but remain deeply saddened by the disappearance of their child.
"They are heartbroken and grieving," Salladay said. "They are thankful for all of the efforts put into the search but this is their only daughter. They want resolution but this is a very difficult time for them."
No evidence of Elledge's disappearance had been found as crews left the search scene Friday afternoon.
Debris in the river prompted the Columbia Police Department to halt the search until Tuesday.