Ohio parents charged with murder in restaurant-body case

Authorities say 29-year-old Mingming Chen repeatedly punched Ashley Zhao and that the girl's father tried to revive her and then tried to help conceal her death

Mingming Chen and Liang Zhao. Parents charged with killing girl in Jackson Township, Stark County.

CANTON, Ohio (AP) – An Ohio couple who reported their daughter missing before the 5-year-old’s body was found hidden at their restaurant in January have been indicted on murder and corpse-abuse charges.

Authorities say 29-year-old Mingming Chen repeatedly punched Ashley Zhao and that the girl’s father, 34-year-old Liang Zhao, unsuccessfully tried to revive her and then tried to help conceal her death.

Authorities say Zhao told 911 dispatchers on Jan. 9 that his daughter was sleeping in the back of Ang’s Asian Cuisine restaurant in North Canton before she vanished. Police found the girl’s body hidden inside the business the next day.

The jailed parents were indicted Tuesday.

Court records don’t list current attorneys for them. A lawyer who represented Zhao at an earlier stage in the case has said that Zhao maintains his innocence. An attorney for Chen, a Chinese immigrant, at that point declined to comment.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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