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5-Year-Old Girl Found Dead

by Nancy Grace, Publisher

Body hidden in Chinese restaurant

Little 5-year-old-Ashley Zhao was found dead on Tuesday. To the shock of police, the girl’s tiny body was hidden in a local Chinese restaurant owned by her parents, who reported Ashley missing the day before.

Ashley‘s parents initially told police their daughter was at their North Canton, Ohio, restaurant Ang’s Asian Cuisine on Monday and had lay down for a nap around 4 p.m. Her mother, Mingming Chen reportedly said that she went to check on her five hours later, only to find she was gone. Believing, initially, that the little girl had wandered off, police launched a frantic search for Ashley, enlisting K9s.

But that search led them to a disturbing discovery: Ashley didn’t wander off at all. On Tuesday afternoon, Ashley’s dead body was found there at Ang’s Asian Cuisine. And her own mother has been arrested for her murder.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Office has accused Chen of repeatedly striking her daughter in the head and face, causing injuries that led to her death.

Ashley’s father, Liang J. Zhao, has been charged with complicity to murder and complicity to commit felonious assault. According to the Stark County Sheriff’s department, Zhao found his daughter sometime after the beating with a green liquid coming from her mouth. He then took her into a bathroom to clean her face, where he noticed that she wasn’t breathing, and administered CPR to try and revive her.

When his efforts failed, Mr. Zhao took part in the fake missing persons report. Both parents are believed to have participated in concealing Ashley’s body at the restaurant.

Minming Chen and Ling J. Zhao are being held on a $5 million bond.


 Photo: Jackson Township Police Department


An outspoken, tireless advocate for victims’ rights and one of television's most respected legal analysts, Nancy Grace was the powerful force behind CNN Headline News’ (HLN) top-rated Nancy Grace. A former prosecutor with an unparalleled record of success, she has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil and Larry King Live, among others, dispensing her firebrand take on the modern justice system. She is the New York Times bestselling author of four books and the executive producer of a on-going series of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries films based on the characters from her novels.  In 2011, Grace was named one of the most impactful and powerful women in entertainment by both leading industry trade magazines, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Now, everything important in Grace’s life – including her unwavering crusade for true justice – comes back to family. Since her marriage and the birth of her children, Nancy says, “I feel even more passionate about fighting for victims.” Nancy Grace, her husband and her twins reside in Atlanta and New York City with their rescue pets, a dog and a cat.