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Husband of missing Missouri woman facing new charges

Joseph Elledge
Mengqi Elledge
Posted at 1:29 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 14:30:20-05

COLUMBIA, Mo.  — A Missouri man who authorities say is a suspect in the disappearance of his Chinese wife was indicted Friday by a grand jury on three new charges related to children.

Joseph Elledge, of Columbia, was indicted on one count of abuse or neglect of a child and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, KRCG-TV reported.

Elledge's wife Mengqi Ji Elledge, of Columbia, has been missing since early October. Boone County authorities have called him a prime suspect in her disappearance but he has not been charged in that case. The couple has a 1-year-old daughter.

Elledge has already pleaded not guilty to earlier charges of child abuse or neglect and endangering the welfare of a child.

Mengqi Elledge, 28, is a graduate of the University of Missouri who was reported missing Oct. 9.

A search for her body in the Lamine River in Cooper County continued for the 10th day Friday. Authorities have not said what led them to search in the river.