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Demonstrations tied to custody battle continue outside Boone County Courthouse

Elledge custody demonstrations
ABC 17 News
A woman looks at signs left by demonstrators in a custody battle over a missing woman's child Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at the Boone County Courthouse.

Several demonstrators supporting one side of a custody dispute related to a Columbia woman's disappearance were outside the Boone County Courthouse for the second straight day Tuesday.

A few people held signs in support of a bid by Mengqi Ji Elledge's parents to get custody of Elledge's daughter. Elledge went missing Oct. 8 and her husband, Joseph Elledge, has been arrested on child abuse charges.

Mengqi Elledge's parents filed for custody of her daughter, Anna, last week after Joseph Elledge's parents sought guardianship over the girl. Supporters of Mengqi Elledge's parents demonstrated outside the courthouse Monday during a hearing in the child custody case.

Amy Salladay is the attorney representing Mengqi Elledge's parents. On Tuesday she said Mengqi's parents felt relieved to be able to speak to the judge.

"They were able to talk in court and give some of their opinions and their concerns," Salladay said.

She said Mengqi Elledge's parents also had the opportunity to speak with detectives from the Columbia Police Department.

"I just know that they're continuing to work on it. They're following up on a lot of leads. The family has a lot of information to convey to the police department, and so the purpose of today was also to convey information to the police department to make sure that the police are following up on all the leads that the family has in relation to Mengqi's disappearance," she said.

Salladay also said there was a no-contact order entered Tuesday between Joseph Elledge and his daughter.

A bond hearing for Joseph Elledge is scheduled for Wednesday.

Joseph Elledge remained Tuesday in the Boone County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia
Joseph Elledge
Mengqi Elledge

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Matthew Sanders

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