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Lamine River search for missing Columbia woman yet to resume

Mengqi Ji
ABC 17 News
A photo of Mengqi Ji, who was last seen Oct. 8, 2019.

COOPER COUNTY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Police have not yet resumed their search for the remains of missing Columbia woman Mengqi Ji.

The Columbia Police Department announced Wednesday in a news release that it would make another attempt to find Ji's remains in the Lamine River near Boonville. A spokesman for CPD said there were no updates Thursday about when the search would resume at the Lamine River. 

The spokesman said police are waiting for city utilities crews to secure equipment and get to the scene. Utility workers built a levee in the river in the spring so they could move excavating equipment out into the river.

No evidence was found during the construction of the levee and the following search. Authorities had called off the search in June. 

According to the release, the Lamine River water levels have decreased, which has allowed for additional searching. Utility crews will remove parts of the levee while CPD’s Criminal Investigations Division will search for evidence of Ji. 

“There is still the possibility of not finding any evidence while the levee is being removed,” the department said in the release. 

Ji’s husband Joseph Elledge is scheduled to appear in a Boone County courtroom at 1:30 p.m. Friday in his child abuse and murder cases. Elledge has maintained his innocence in Ji's disappearance.

Ji has been missing for one year. Ji’s family’s attorney, Amy Salladay, said a virtual candlelight vigil will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday to mark the anniversary.

Riane Cleveland

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