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Divers enter day four in search for missing Columbia mom

Searchers head out on a boat on the Lamine River looking for the remains of Mengqi Ji Elledge on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.
ABC 17 News
Searchers head out on a boat on the Lamine River looking for the remains of Mengqi Ji Elledge on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.


The Mid-Missouri Sheriff's Dive Team, Columbia Police Department and other agencies started the fourth day of dive searches for a missing Columbia mom Thursday.

Columbia Police officials said Wednesday they are "pretty certain" they are searching the right area of the Lamine River for Mengqi Ji Elledge.

Dr. Edward Adelstein from MU says if the body is deep in the water, where it is colder, the body can be pretty well preserved. if the water is warm there's a good chance the body is pretty well decomposed and bloated. either way, the body can be identified no matter the state of decomposition.

Divers off-camera said there are multiple components underwater they have to regard when diving.

One diver we spoke with said, when they go underwater they can see brown murky particles and branches for about 2 feet but anything further is all black. He also said it's about 40 degrees in the river and they are basically feeling around underwater for something that feels like it's not supposed to be there whether its a body or something like a suitcase that a body could be stored in.

CPD Assistant Chief Jeremiah Hunter said Wednesday's efforts focused on clearing debris from under the Route 41 bridge and around its support columns as authorities continue to narrow the search area.

Law Enforcement agencies suspended the search around 5 p.m. and said they will be back Nov. 6 at 9 a.m.

Stay with ABC 17 News for more information on this developing story on-air, on social media and online.

Article Topic Follows: Crime
columbia police department
Joseph Elledge
Mengqi Elledge

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Brittany Wiley

Brittany Wiley joined ABC 17 News in December 2018 as a full-time reporter. She anchors weekend morning broadcasts and reports in the early evening during the week.


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