5-Year-Old's Body Found Hidden in Family's Restaurant

Both parents have been charged
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2017 7:33 AM CST
5-Year-Old's Body Found Hidden in Family's Restaurant
Ming Ming Chen   (Stark County Sheriff's Office)

A woman is charged with murder after the body of her 5-year-old daughter was found hidden inside a restaurant in Ohio. Police were initially searching for Ashley Zhao after she was reported to have wandered away from her father's restaurant, Ang's Asian Cuisine in North Canton, late Monday. According to a call to police around 9pm Monday, Ashley had last been seen sleeping in a back room of the restaurant around 5pm but was missing when her mom checked on her hours later. But after searching a nearby wooded area, authorities found the girl "deceased and concealed inside the building" around 5pm Tuesday, police tell Fox 8.

Police say the girl died Monday morning after her mother, Ming Ming Chen, hit the 5-year-old in the head "several times with her right fist" and slammed her head on the floor, per Fox 8 and WKYC. The girl's father, Liang Zhao, saw Ashley had green fluid coming from her mouth and took her into a bathroom to clean her face, then gave her CPR when he noticed she wasn't breathing, police tell the Canton Repository. It was another 12 hours before the family called police. Chen is now charged with murder and felonious assault, while Zhao faces charges of complicity to murder and complicity to commit felonious assault. Their bond is set at $5 million each. (A new child abuse case out of Utah accuses a mom of keeping her son locked up for years.)

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