Remains found in a Missouri park are believed to be that of a missing Chinese woman whose husband has been charged with her murder after police believe he killed her to avoid a costly divorce and stop her fleeing the US with their daughter. 

By Canadian Press

Missouri authorities say they believe that human remains first spotted by someone out walking in a state park Thursday afternoon are the body of a Chinese woman who has been missing since October 2019.

The skeletal remains, some clothing, a driver’s license and some credit cards with Mengqi Ji Elledge’s name on them were found in a remote area of Rock Bridge State Park in Boone County.

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece and Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones announced the findings Thursday evening.

Assistant Chief Jeremiah Hunter described the identification of the remains as preliminary. Hunter, Jones and Treece emphasized the importance of this development in beginning to provide closure to Ji’s family.

Prosecutors have speculated that Elledge strangled his wife to avoid a costly divorce and stop her from fleeing to China with their two-year-old daughter

Police officials said DNA and potentially other testing would be done to confirm that the remains are Ji’s.

Ji’s husband, Joseph Elledge, was charged with first-degree murder back in February last year in relation to her disappearance. 

Columbia Police Assistant Chief Jeremiah Hunter said parts of Rock Bridge State Park had been previously searched but not the area where the remains were found, which is about 30 feet from a road. Authorities are pictured searching for the missing mother in 2019

He remains jailed without bond ahead of his trial, which is scheduled to start on November 1. 

Prosecutors have speculated that Elledge strangled his wife to avoid a costly divorce and stop her from fleeing to China with their two-year-old daughter.

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