Couple indicted for murder after 5-year-old girl’s body found hidden in restaurant

Mingming Chen & Liang Zhao/Photo: WJW

CANTON, Ohio — A couple who reported their 5-year-old daughter missing before her body was found hidden at their northeast Ohio restaurant have been indicted on charges including murder and corpse abuse.

Police found Ashley Zhao’s body in the North Canton restaurant Jan. 10.

They initially alleged that 29-year-old Mingming Chen repeatedly punched her daughter and that the girl’s father, 34-year-old Liang Zhao, unsuccessfully tried to revive her and helped conceal what happened after she died.

A Stark County indictment filed Tuesday also charges the jailed parents with evidence-tampering, obstructing justice and child endangering.

County court records didn’t immediately list an attorney for them.

A lawyer who represented Zhao on initial charges in municipal court has said that Zhao maintains his innocence.

An attorney for Chen at that point declined to comment.