Missouri suspect in Chinese wife’s disappearance denied bond

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Columbia man charged with killing his Chinese wife, who has been missing for more than a year, will remain in jail without bond, a judge ruled Monday.

Joseph Elledge, 25, has been held without bond since being charged last year with first-degree murder in the death of Mengqi Ji, who hasn’t been since since October 2019. He is also charged with abusing the couple’s young daughter. He has pleaded not guilty.

Elledge’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, requested a $750,000 bond. He argued that his client is not a risk to the public and has no prior criminal record, The Columbia Missourian reported.

Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight argued against bond. He said Elledge is a “narcissist” who was “horribly abusive” to Ji. He also said he will prove that Elledge killed his wife, even though her body has not been found.

Knight said the murder case could go to trial in April or May next year. The defense and prosecution agreed it should be tried before the domestic assault and child abuse cases filed in October 2019.

Boone County Circuit Court Judge Brouck Jacobs denied the request for setting bond. He set a status hearing in Elledge’s first-degree murder case for Jan. 15.

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