Episode

CBS 48 Hours: “The Tree That Helped Solve a Murder” | December 10 2022

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Tonight, The December 10 edition of “CBS 48 Hours” airs at 10PM ET/PT on CBS. Watch episodes at CBS and ParamountPlus.

On Oct. 10, 2019, Joseph Elledge, then 23, reported his wife, Mengqi Ji, missing. Elledge told Columbia, Mo., police that he believed his wife may have left him and their 1-year-old daughter for another man with whom he said she had an online relationship. But when police searched the couple’s apartment, they found a muddy pair of Elledge’s boots – evidence that would become important months later, after Ji’s remains were found buried under a juniper tree. Elledge’s boots were found to have several juniper tree needles stuck to the soles. 48 HOURS correspondent Peter Van Sant reports on how DNA from those needles was linked to the tree directly above Ji’s shallow grave, providing prosecutors with the evidence they needed to help convict Elledge of her murder.

“I’ve never heard of anything like this before in my entire career at 48 HOURS,” states Van Sant.

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