Missouri man charged in Chinese wife’s death despite no body

Local News

FILE – This undated file photo provided by Boone County Sheriff’s Department in Columbia, Mo., shows Joseph Elledge. Prosecutors have charged Elledge, the American husband of a Chinese woman who has been missing since October, 2019, with first-degree murder in her death, even though her body hasn’t been found. Elledge, was charged Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, with first-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Mengqi Ji. (Boone County Sheriff’s Department via AP, File)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The American husband of a Chinese woman who has been missing since October is now charged with first-degree murder in her death, even though her body hasn’t been found.

Joseph Elledge, of Columbia, Missouri was charged Wednesday in the death of 28-year-old Mengqi Ji. Prosecutors are seeking a $5 million cash-only bond.

A probable cause statement says Elledge did not contact anyone about his wife’s disappearance for more than 24 hours and during that time took two drives to rural areas where a body could be disposed of.

Authorities have been searching for Ji’s body in the Lamine River near Boonville. 

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