Columbia police have finished the process of using a levee to excavate the area of Lamine River under Highway 41 where possible human remains have been detected during the search for Mengqi Ji.

Mengqi Ji was reported missing Oct. 10, and her husband, Joseph Elledge, is the subject of an active investigation into her disappearance, according to a probable cause statement.

Documents KOMU 8 uncovered in May showed the Columbia Police Department believed Mengqi Ji was entangled in a log jam between the southern road bridge pier and the south bank of the Lamine River near the State Route 41 road bridge.

A CPD press release said the search crew consisted of skilled volunteer divers and used sonar technology to search areas underwater.   

"The human remains detection canine is still positively indicating that remains are in the area of the river we are searching in," said Assistant Chief Jeremiah Hunter. Hunter further explains the search for "additional options that could potentially help us move forward."

Mengqi Ji's disappearance was first reported eight months ago by her husband Joseph Elledge. Elledge has since been identified as a key suspect and was indicted for first-degree murder by a grand jury Feb. 28 in Boone County. 

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