City of Columbia Missouri Police Department Police Department

600 E. Walnut Street
Columbia, MO 65201


March 20, 2020

CONTACT: Brittany Hilderbrand
Community Relations Specialist/Public Information Officer
Columbia Police Department
City of Columbia

Columbia Police continue the search for the body of missing Columbia woman, Mengqi Ji Elledge


Since October 2019, the Columbia Police Department has been investigating the disappearance of Mengqi Ji, who was reported missing by her husband Joseph Elledge on Oct. 10. Joseph Elledge is the key suspect in the disappearance of his wife and was indicted for first-degree murder by the Boone County grand jury on Feb. 28, 2020.

CPD's Criminal Investigation Division and outside agencies have conducted extensive aerial and ground searches near Ashland Lake and the Pine Ridge Recreation Campground. The north and south riverbanks at the Lamine River have been searched repeatedly and will continue to be monitored. The investigation revealed Joseph Elledge visited these locations before reporting Mengqi Ji as a missing person to police. 

No new evidence was discovered as a result of these searches. Moving forward, CPD will continue to focus its search efforts on the Lamine River at the Highway 41 bridge as the main location of interest.  

If anyone has any additional information, they are encouraged to contact the Columbia Police Department at 573.874.7652 or call CrimeStoppers at 573.875.TIPS to remain anonymous. Further information can be found in the probable cause statement, which can be obtained through the Boone County Circuit Clerk. Columbia Police will refer all future inquiries to the Boone County Prosecutor's Office, as there are no further details that can be released by CPD.

Case number: 2019-010707

City of Columbia Vision
Columbia is the best place for everyone to live, work, learn and play.

City of Columbia Mission
To serve the public through democratic, transparent and efficient government.