Mengqi Ji Wiki- Mengqi Ji Biography

Presiding Judge J. Hasbrouck Jacobs set Joseph Elledge’s prison sentence at 28 years (jury recommendation) Friday afternoon in Boone County Courthouse.

Hasbrouck denied defense attorney Scott Rosenblum’s motion for a new trial.

Elledge was convicted in November of second-degree murder for the death of his wife, Mengqi Ji, in October 2019. He admitted on the stand that he buried her body and misled authorities about her disappearance.


Elledge’s attorneys filed for a new trial last month, arguing that Boone County District Attorney Dan Knight was unable to prove a crime was committed; that the testimony of an expert should never have been admitted in the original trial; and that a police interrogation should have been carried out under a Miranda warning, among other points.

A 12-member jury in November recommended the 28-year sentence.

Knight, after the jury returned the suggested sentence, surmised that this was because the length matched Ji’s age when she died.


Mengqi Ji Age

The age of Mengqi Ji was 28 years at the time of murder.

Who kills Mengqi Ji, incident

Husband of the Mengqi ji is the killer and Elledge was convicted in November of second-degree murder for the death of his wife, Mengqi Ji, in October 2019. He admitted on the stand that he buried her body and misled authorities about her disappearance.

On October 15, 2019, Joseph Elledge entered the Columbia, Missouri Police Department without an attorney to tell detectives about the mysterious disappearance of his wife of 28 years, Mengqi Ji, six days earlier.


JOE ELLEDGE (interview with police): We didn’t have any big fights… I think the last big fight was actually the week before. And it wasn’t really a great fight.

The 23-year-old described his wife as tense and withdrawn the night before she went missing, so she gave him a massage.

JOE ELLEDGE (interview with police): It was going a little slow. I was trying to drag it out because he wanted to extend the amount of time we were together doing something.


According to Joe, Mengqi finally went to sleep and said that she had to be somewhere in the morning.

JOE ELLEDGE: I asked her about three times, “Who is she meeting with?” And her response was simply, I quote, “I do.” …she didn’t tell me who she was going to meet or where she was going, what she was doing.

The next morning, Joe says that he woke up alone. His wife was gone.


Dan Knight: He was claiming… that she had just disappeared, that he had left his little girl behind. Her phone was left behind… her car. His car keys were left behind.

From the beginning, then-Boone County District Attorney Dan Knight had doubts about Joe’s story.

Dan Knight: We were doing everything we could to leave no stone unturned. But there were many stones.


Joe told investigators that after his wife disappeared, he found journal entries on her computer where she had written about an online emotional affair he was having with a man living in China.

JOE ELLEDGE (interview with police): The last paragraph said… “like it’s sad that I don’t care about my husband.”

The day Joe spoke to detectives, he also did an exclusive interview with local CBS affiliate KRCG and hinted that his wife might have left him for another man. JOE ELLEDGE (KRCG interview): I hope she’s with, at least someone. who… who cares about her, you know, enough to keep her safe.


Joe and his family hired attorney Scott Rosenblum, who says there were intimate text messages between Mengqi Ji and the man he was communicating with.

Peter Van Sant: Of a sexual nature?

Scott Rosenblum: Very sexual.


Texts like this where she wrote: “I want you so much right now.”

Peter Van Sant: And did she ever express her love for him in any of these communications?

Scott Rosenblum: She did.


The question was, had Mengqi run away to be with this man who lived in China, where she was born?

Amy Salladay is the attorney for the Ji family.

Amy Salladay: Mengqi was born during China’s one-child policy. But Ke Ren, Mengqi’s mother, would say that “We only wanted a child. We wanted to give all our love to this child.”


Yáo Li: Mengqi is like the child that every parent would want.

Yáo Li is a Chinese immigrant and an assistant district attorney in Boone County, who helped Dan Knight contact Mengqi’s parents.

Yáo Li: They are very, very proud of her. … I know how difficult it is to get into one of the best universities in Shanghai and Beijing… the competition… is really intense. …and she did that.


Dan Knight: He then came to the University of Missouri in 2012, where he finished his undergraduate studies and then also got his master’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Peter Van Sant: This was a brilliant woman. Correct?

Dan Knight: Absolutely.


One of her teachers hired her right out of school at her biomaterials company, “Nanova”, where Joe also worked.

It was on October 29, 2018, about a year before Mengqi Ji went missing, when she secretly recorded her husband Joe freaking out about her for almost an hour.

JOE ELLEDGE (audio recording): You want me to bust the crap? Do you want me to hurt someone?”


It all started weeks before, after Mengqi gave birth and her parents flew from China to stay with them. It is a Chinese custom for grandparents to stay and help out for 100 days, a custom that angered Joe.

JOE ELLEDGE (audio recording): I don’t want your mom here… Your mom is causing trouble… Your mom should go.

Dan Knight: What really made Joe mad was that Mengqi confronted him and told him that she needed her mother.


MENGQI JI (audio recording): If I don’t take care of my own body, my own health, it’s not responsible for me…or this family –

JOE ELLEDGE: Yes, I agree.

MENGQI JI: She’s helping me do that. And she knows it.


JOE ELLEDGE: I don’t like that woman. And I don’t think you should either.

Yáo Li: The tension was at its limit, and there are screams, curses.

And Yáo Li says that Joe really despised it when Mengqi and her mother, Ke Ren, spoke Chinese in her presence.


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