Columbia (US), Nov 9 (AP) A Missouri man accused of killing his wife and burying her body in a park testified at trial Tuesday on their turbulent relationship.
Joseph Elledge is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Mengqi Ji, whom he reported missing in October 2019. Her remains were found in March at a park near Columbia, Missouri.
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Prosecutors rested their case on Monday, after presenting a week of evidence that detailed the couple’s troubled and deteriorating relationship before her death.
Ji moved from China to Missouri to study at the University of Missouri and stayed after marrying Elledge in 2017.
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On the stand Tuesday, Elledge said his wife had a temper and they often argued as a way to control the other person’s emotions, KRCG-TV reported.
Elledge said he and Ji met in 2015 and began dating the following year. They eventually traveled to China and he asked Ji’s father for permission to marry her. The couple planned to have three to five children and Ji wanted them to grow up in the Chinese culture, which Elledge said he supported.
Elledge said he initially got along well with Ji’s parents but tension arose after they moved in with the couple when their daughter was born on Oct. 3, 2018.
He said Ji’s parents began interfering with their child’s care, and often spoke Chinese with their daughter, while she translated for him.
Elledge initially told investigators that he and his wife argued at their apartment on Oct. 9, 2019, and he discovered she was missing when he woke up the next day.
During opening statements last week, Elledge’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, acknowledged that Ji died after Elledge pushed her during an argument. He said she fell and hit her head but was able to get up and go to bed, where Elledge found her dead the next day. (AP)
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