Missing woman's parents seek custody of grandchild, hope husband confesses

3 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Monday, November 04 2019 Nov 4, 2019 Monday, November 04, 2019 4:30:00 AM CST November 04, 2019 in News
By: Leo Rocha, KOMU 8 Reporter and Emily Wolf, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
loading

COLUMBIA — Missing woman Mengqi Ji Elledge's parents are going to court Monday afternoon after filing to intervene in a guardianship case for their grandchild, days after the child's paternal grandmother sought custody.

"[The child] is not an experiment or a sacrifice for the Elledges’ to use against them," maternal grandparents Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji said in a translated statement Sunday. "She should not go through any more trauma." 

The custody dispute comes after Joseph Elledge, Mengqi Ji's husband, was arrested Friday, Oct. 25 for child abuse or neglect. A probable cause statement from the Columbia Police Department stated police found photos of bruising on the child, and Joseph admitted he did cause the bruising.

Police suspect foul play in Mengqi Ji's disappearance and have opened a criminal investigation. In the translated statement, Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji said they hope that Joseph confesses so they can have closure about what happened to Mengqi Ji.

Jean Elledge, the child's paternal grandmother, did not inform Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji about her seeking custody of the child, according to a news release from the family's attorney. Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji said in the translated statement that they are "baffled and confused" by Jean's decision to file for emergency guardianship.

In a probable cause statement, Columbia police said Joseph was found trying to leave town with Jean and the child when they went to serve a search warrant.

The release states Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji have a close relationship with their granddaughter and it is in the child’s best interest that they have physical custody of her. In the translated statement, they said that before Mengqi Ji disappeared, they had extended video chats with her and the child while they were in China.
Ke Ren is retired, and the grandparents said they believe they can dedicate their full attention to raising the child in the U.S.
“My clients must be allowed to intervene in the guardianship case for their granddaughter,” attorney Amy Salladay said. “Because of the suspicious circumstances of their daughter’s disappearance, the uncertainty in who all was involved, and a lack of communication from the Columbia Police Department, my clients need the court to hear from Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji to protect the best interests of their granddaughter.”
Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji were not contacted by Joseph, Jean or the Columbia Police Department to inform them of Mengqi Ji’s disappearance, according to the release. The attorney said a family friend alerted the couple of her disappearance.
Steve Sapp, the city's community relations director, told KOMU 8 News in an email that Mengqi Ji's friends were the ones who told the family when police were contacted because they were better able to communicate the information due to the language barrier.
(Editor's note: KOMU.com has updated this story to reflect the latest information).

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY - Multiple law enforcement agencies have been conducting an investigation on scene in west Columbia. Public Information... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 6:06:00 AM CST February 20, 2020 in News
LAS VEGAS — The latest on the 2020 presidential campaign and Democratic debate 6 p.m. Six Democratic... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 8:07:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD- A retired Catholic priest has been charged in Missouri with multiple counts of child sexual abuse stemming from... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 7:54:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - While the snow disappears with warmer weather, potholes are opening in roads around mid-Missouri. Street division employees... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 5:43:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Joseph Elledge, the husband of missing Columbia woman Mengqi Ji Elledge, has been charged with first-degree murder,... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 5:05:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A U.S. Army Veteran is passing through Jefferson City on Thursday as part of his effort to... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:37:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - After the Landmark Bank and Simmons First National merger on February 18, residents in Ashland are seeing some... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:16:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Clean Missouri was approved by 62% of Missourians in 2018. Now, some Missouri lawmakers want to reverse... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:19:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A public defender representing a Columbia man who plotted a terrorist attack has asked for a 15-year sentence.... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:43:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – People from all around Missouri and lawmakers packed into a hearing room in the Missouri Capitol Wednesday... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:22:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia parents and candidates for the Columbia Board of Education met Wednesday to discuss special education. This... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:04:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State lawmakers on the House Elections and Elected Officials committee heard testimony on a bill that could... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A Fulton man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2018 Columbia homicide. 30-year-old... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:23:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
FULTON - The State Technical College of Missouri is partnering with the Callaway Chamber of Commerce to provide the MoAMP... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:55:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced his candidacy to keep the seat Wednesday. Schmitt was appointed... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:13:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in News
Loxahatchee, FL – According to the national institute of mental health, nearly one in five people in the United States... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:20:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The man suspected of shooting an off-duty police officer at a Walmart store in the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 8:53:16 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Missouri advocacy group will show up in numbers to support its cause on Wednesday. Decoding... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:50:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 21°
8am 22°
9am 23°
10am 24°
11am 25°