Student whose wife is missing charged with child abuse

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Joseph Elledge

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ A University of Missouri student has been charged with abuse or neglect of a child as authorities continue searching for his wife, a graduate of the school who is from China.

Twenty-three-year-old Joseph Elledge, of Columbia, was charged Monday with the felony. He is jailed on a $500,000 cash-only bond. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.

He is the husband of 28-year-old Menqi Ji Elledge, who was last seen on Oct. 9. He hasn’t been charged in her disappearance, but police announced Friday that the investigation has led detectives to suspect foul play. Divers previously searched a pond near the couple’s apartment but found nothing.

Columbia Police spokesman Steven Sapp says the couple has a 1-year-old daughter who is in the care of a relative.

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