NORTH CANTON, OHIO — A couple of thought-to-be concerned parents in North Canton, Ohio, who reported their 5-year-old daughter missing have turned out to be more concerned with saving their own hides, after police found Ashley Zhao’s body hidden in the family’s Chinese restaurant a day later.
The mother, MingMing Chen, 29, has admitted to police that on the morning of Jan. 9, she beat the girl with her fist, repeatedly. The child’s father, Liang Zhao, 34, then came over to tend to Ashley, and noticed a green fluid dripping out of her mouth. He also noticed she’d stopped breathing. He attempted to revive her by performing CPR, but was unsuccessful.
That evening, the couple reported Ashley missing, saying she’d gone to the back of the restaurant for a nap, but somehow vanished. When investigators searched for her in the area, it didn’t take long for them to find her body “concealed” in the restaurant, near the freezer.
The mother has been charged with murder and felonious assault, and the father with complicity to commit felonious assault and complicity to commit murder. The restaurant, Ang’s Asian Cuisine, is now permanently closed, and has become a makeshift memorial for little Ashley Zhao. Regular customers say she was a very sweet and social child.