COLUMBIA, Mon. (RMIZ)
Columbia police are investigating a death at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park near Columbia.
A Columbia Police Department officer at the scene said a walker had found severely decomposed human remains on Thursday. Police blocked Rock Quarry Road near the High Ridge Trailhead during the investigation.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Kyle Green said that troopers are also helping rangers in the investigation.
Columbia police are trying to verify that the remains found today are Menngqi Ji.
The remains found on Thursday will be passed through DNA testing and / or dental records to confirm identity.
Assistant Police Chief Jeremiah Hunter said personal belongings fit the description of what Ji was last seen in when she went missing. Hunter said they found bank, credit card documents, and driver’s license that were Ji’s with the human remains.
Columbia Police Department has kept the Boone County Prosecutor informed and provided more updates at a later date.
Officials report that police searched the state park but did not search the area where the body was found. According to Hunter, the area was not searched because the area was never addressed in the search for Ji.
Watch the replay of the press conference in the player below.
Attorney Amy Salladay spoke to the family earlier today about the update in the case.
Salladay says the family is still processing this information. No parent who has lost a child ever wants to give up hope while at the same time having to know what happened to their daughter so that the hope could end.
The family would like to reiterate their support for the Columbia Police Department and the wonderful work of Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight in seeking justice on Mengqi Ji’s behalf.
Ji disappeared in October 2019. Prosecutors later charged her husband, Joseph Elledge, with murder. Elledge’s trial is scheduled for November.
Police searched extensively for her body, including several dives in Cooper County’s Lamine River.
Check back for updates on this evolving story.