COLUMBIA, Missouri (KMIZ)
Columbia police are investigating a death at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park near Columbia.
A Columbia Police Department officer at the scene said a hiker found badly decomposed human remains Thursday. Police blocked Rock Quarry Road at the High Ridge trailhead during the investigation.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Kyle Green said the cops are also assisting the rangers in the investigation.
Columbia Police are seeking to verify whether the remains found today are Menngqi Ji.
The remains found Thursday will go through DNA testing and / or dental records to confirm identity.
Deputy Police Chief Jeremiah Hunter said the personal property fits the description of the last time Ji was seen when he disappeared. Hunter said they found bank documents, credit cards and a driver’s license that were from Ji with the human remains.
Columbia Police have been providing updates to the Boone County Attorney and more updates at a later time.
Authorities report that police searched the state park, but did not search the area where the body was found. The area was not searched, according to Hunter, because the area never appeared as part of a clue in the search for Ji.
Watch the replay of the press conference on the player below.
Attorney Amy Salladay spoke with the family today about the update on the case.
Salladay says the family is still processing this information. No parent who has lost a child wants to lose hope and, at the same time, has needed to know what happened to their daughter so that there could be some closure.
The family wants to reiterate their support for the Columbia Police Department and the tremendous work done by Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight to seek justice on behalf of Mengqi Ji.
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 his body, including several dives in the Lamine River in Cooper County.
Check back for updates to this story in development.