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Columbia police looking to verify human remains found as Mengqi Ji


Columbia police are investigating a death at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park near Columbia.

A Columbia Police Department officer at the scene said a hiker found badly decomposed human remains Thursday. Police blocked off Rock Quarry Road at the High Ridge trailhead during the investigation.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Kyle Green said troopers are helping park rangers in the investigation, as well.

Columbia police are seeking to verify if the remains found today are Menngqi Ji.

The remains found Thursday will go through DNA testing and/or dental records to confirm the identity.

‎Assistant Police Chief Jeremiah Hunter said personal property that fit the description of what Ji was last seen in when she went missing. Hunter said they found bank, credit card documents and a driver's license that were Ji's with the human remains.

The Columbia police have been providing the Boone County prosecutor with updates and provide more updates at a later time.

Officials report law enforcement did search the state park but did not search the area where the body was found. The area was not searched, according to Hunter, because the area never came up as part of a lead in the search for Ji.

Watch the news conference replay in the player below.

Attorney Amy Salladay spoke to the family earlier today about the update in the case.

Salladay says the family is still processing this information. No parent who has lost a child ever wants to give up hope, while at the same time they have needed to know what happened to their daughter so there could be some closure.

The family wants to reiterate their support of the Columbia Police Department and the tremendous job done by Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight in seeking justice on behalf of Mengqi Ji.

Ji disappeared in October 2019. Prosecutors later charged her husband, Joseph Elledge, with murder. Elledge's trial has been set for November.

Police searched extensively for her body, including several dives into the Lamine River in Cooper County.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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