Prosecutors in the case of a Missouri man charged with killing his wife and abusing their daughter are seeking to call 40 witnesses with the case finally goes to trial, the Columbia Missourian reported Friday.
Earlier this week, Columbia police resumed their search for the body of Mengqi Ji Elledge, 28, who was last seen late in the evening of October 8, 2019. Her husband, Joseph Elledge, 24, reported her missing on October 10.
They stopped searching in the Lamine River in June and dismantled a levee they constructed to help with the search, but this week, water levels dropped, and police found part of the levee was still intact, Assistant Police Chief Jeremiah Hunter said, according to KRCG.
City Utilities will excavate rocks used to build the levee, and police will search through debris for evidence of the body, the Missourian said.
Investigators have previously said they have previously found evidence leading them to believe the body could be in the water.
Joseph Elledge was indicted on a murder charge earlier this year. In the course of the investigation, detectives found bruising on the couple’s daughter, leading to the abuse charges.
He’s been charged with first-degree murder, child abuse, child endangerment, and third-degree domestic assault.
The 40 witnesses prosecutors have asked to be endorsed by the court include 23 in the murder case and 17 in the child abuse case.
Elledge’s attorneys are also seeking to lower his bond. A hearing has been set for that on November 30.
There is no trial date as yet; officials say they may have a better idea of timing for the trial by the time of the bond hearing.
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