Police: Missouri man may have strangled missing wife

Regional 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)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Investigators believe a Columbia man may have strangled or suffocated his Chinese wife, who has been missing since early October.

Joseph Elledge was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Mengqi Ji, although her body has not been found.

A probable cause statement says Elledge told officers he gave his wife a massage the night before she disappeared. The statement says that would have put Ji in a position where she could not defend herself against her much larger husband.

Also Thursday, a judge set an April 6 hearing date for Elledge on child abuse charges related to the couple’s 1-year-old daughter.

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