Mengqi Ji's family responds to Joseph Elledge murder charge

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COLUMBIA - The family of Mengqi Ji, who has been missing since October and is presumed dead, released a statement to KOMU 8 News following the filing of a murder charge in the case.

Joseph Elledge, Ji's husband, was charged with first-degree murder on February 19, but for months prosecutors had suggested he was behind his wife's disappearance. Police have searched a section of the Lamine River in Cooper County on numerous occasions, and at one point cadaver dogs "alerted the presence of human decomposition." But so far no firm evidence has been reported.

The attorney for Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji, Mengqi Ji's parents, sent the following statement to KOMU 8 News on Wednesday:

"Ke Ren and Xiaolin Ji fully support Dan Knight's decision to file the murder charges. While not having a body may raise suspicion for some, Joseph Elledge is the only suspect in his wife's disappearance and they are very confident that Dan Knight will be able to successfully pursue these charges and convict Joseph Elledge of murder. Boone County and the State of Missouri are lucky to have someone like Mr. Knight who is doing everything he can to bring justice to what is our worst nightmare. 

"Their daughter, Mengqi Ji was a loving mother, daughter, and friend. Mengqi would never have left her daughter under any circumstance. The family wants others to know that they will not give up looking for their daughter. They do not want to leave the United States without Mengqi. Their prayer is to take her home and they hope that the Columbia Police Department will continue searching and work with other professional organizations and law enforcement agencies to come up with a plan so that there can be resolution to this matter."