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Authorities continue search for missing Columbia mother for 10th day

Law Enforcement agencies continued to search the Lamine river on Friday for Mengqi Ji Elledge.

Columbia Police Department spokesman Jeff Pitts said the search of the Lamine River, located at the De Bourgmont access, resumed at about 9:30 a.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers had a crew in a boat on the water using sonar technology to map the river bottom.

CPD officials confirmed one diver was at the De Bourgmont access on standby.

Dive teams have gone into the river to find Mengqi Ji Elledge's body or evidence connected with her disappearance.

It's been more than two months since Mengqi Ji was reported missing by her husband, Joseph Elledge. Joseph is jailed on child abuse charges and was named by Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight as the prime suspect in Mengqi Ji's disappearance.

Meanwhile, a custody battle over Mengqi Ji and Joseph Elledge's child continues between Mengqi Ji's and Joseph's parents.

Timeline of events tied to Mengqi Ji Elledge's disappearance

  • Oct. 8, Mengqi Ji Elledge was last seen in her home.
  • Oct. 10, Joseph Elledge reported Mengqi Ji missing.
  • Oct. 26, the Columbia Police Department arrested Joseph Elledge on a possible child abuse charge.
  • Oct. 29, Joesph Elledge was charged with one count of child abuse.
  • Nov. 6, Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight calls Joseph Elledge the "prime suspect" in Mengqi Ji Elledge's disappearance and possible murder.
  • Nov. 10, Mengqi Ji Elledge's friends and family hold a vigil for the missing mother.
  • Nov. 15, CPD ask for hunters and farmers' help locating Mengqi Ji Elledge.
  • Nov. 18, Joseph Elledge is charged with a second child abuse charge.
  • Nov. 26, Authorities begin the search at the Lamine River in Cooper County.
  • Dec. 5, A change of judge is granted in the case.
  • Dec. 10, the search at the Lamine River continues.
  • Dec. 11, The search was scaled back the seventh day that crews were on the water.
  • Dec. 12, crews had a specialist K-9 unit on a boat giving signals from where it picked up scents.
  • Dec. 13, CPD officials utilized a private vessel equipped with SONAR technology in the search.
  • Dec. 20, the search at the Lamine River continues.

Joseph Elledge remains in the Boone County jail on a $500,000 bond related to child abuse and child endangerment charges. He is not charged in Mengqi's disappearance.

Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to please contact the Columbia Police Department at 573.874.7652 or CrimeStoppers at 573.875.TIPS (8477) to remain anonymous.

Stay with ABC 17 News for more information on this developing story.

Boone / Child Abuse / Columbia / Cooper / Crime / Elledge case / Missing Person / Missouri / Top Stories / Top Stories
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Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto anchors the weekend morning and weekday 9 a.m. & noon newscasts for ABC 17. You can find up-to-the-minute information on Zach’s social media, @ABC17Zach on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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