Seek for physique of lacking girl might price $500,000

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The seek for the physique of a Missouri girl presumed to have been murdered by her husband might price not less than $500,000, forcing her household to ask lawmakers and the neighborhood for assist in funding the trouble.

Columbia police consider the physique of Mengqi Ji was dropped within the Lamine River, close to Booneville, after she disappeared Oct. eight.


In February, a grand jury indicted her husband, Joseph Elledge, on first-degree homicide for allegedly killing her. He was initially charged with little one abuse in opposition to the couple’s 1-year-old daughter. He’s now held the Boone County jail on a $500,000 bond.

Ji’s physique has not been discovered after months of looking out. Cadaver canine indicated human stays within the Lamine River, however tree density is making the search tough, The Kansas Metropolis Star reported Friday.

“We’re 90% positive that her physique is within the Lamine River,” mentioned Amy Salladay, Ji’s household legal professional. “However they’ll’t get to that space as a result of it’s underneath dense timber and brush.”


Ji, 28, got here to the U.S. from China seven years in the past. She earned her grasp’s diploma in mechanical and aerospace engineering from College of Missouri in 2014. She stayed in Columbia and married Elledge in 2017.

Sallady mentioned engineers have concluded that constructing a retaining wall would assist clear the way in which to discovering Ji’s physique. The wall would permit crews to pump out water close to the Missouri 41 overpass, which is the place police consider the physique is now.

However the endeavor comes with a minimal price ticket of $500,000, in response to


The household sought assist from the state’s representatives in Congress, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, requesting they faucet into cash from the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers to fund the seek for Ji’s physique, Salladay mentioned.

Blunt’s workplace mentioned they’re facilitating work between native police and the Military Corps on the search. Hartzler’s workplace additionally mentioned it’s engaged on getting assist to proceed the search.


True North of Columbia, a home violence shelter, will show Ji’s paintings for a fundraiser on April 27 if stay-at-home orders because of the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted by then.

The Lacking Individuals Assist Heart’s Fb web page can also be accepting donations. Checks might be mailed to MPSC, P.O. Field 262, Foristell, Mo. 63348, with “MJ” famous within the memo line to point it’s for the search.

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