Ohio Parents Arrested After Body of ‘Missing’ 5-Year-Old Daughter Is Found Hidden in Their Restaurant

From left: MingMing Chen and Liang Zhao (STARK COUNTY, OHIO, JAIL)
From left: MingMing Chen and Liang Zhao (STARK COUNTY, OHIO, JAIL)

An Ohio mother and father were charged Wednesday in the death of their 5-year-old daughter, who they reported missing before police found her “deceased and concealed” in the family’s Chinese restaurant, PEOPLE confirms.

Ashley Zhao’s parents contacted police about 9 p.m. Monday and said they believed she “wandered out a back door” of Ang’s Asian Cuisine in North Canton, Ohio, around 5 p.m., according to police in Jackson Township, Ohio.

Their report triggered a statewide alert for the girl, but an investigation revealed that she was already dead. Around 9:15 a.m. Monday, hours before police were contacted, Ashley’s mother, MingMing Chen, allegedly “did strike her daughter … several times with her right fist,” according to booking information provided to PEOPLE by the Stark County Jail.

“The victim suffered injuries to her body which caused her death.”

The girl’s father, Liang Zhao, “found the victim had her head struck on the floor twice” by her mother, then noticed “green fluid coming from her mouth,” a jail booking report alleges. Zhao took Ashley to the bathroom and washed the fluid from her face, “then laid her on the floor and noticed she had stopped breathing,” according to the report.

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Jeff Truesdell