An Ohio man has pleaded guilty to corpse abuse and obstruction of justice in connection with his five-year-old daughter’s violent death.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Ashley Zhao was found dead in early January in the Chinese restaurant owned by her parents, Liang Zhao and Mingming Chen. Zhao placed a 911 call on January 9, claiming that his daughter had gone missing from the family’s Jackson Township restaurant after taking a nap while her parents were working.
A massive search of the area turned up nothing, but authorities found the girl’s body hidden in the restaurant, Ang’s Chinese Cuisine, the next day. Police have still not revealed exactly how or where the body was concealed.
Liang Zhao plans to plead guilty to charges in death of his 5-year-old daughter. Murder charge will be dismissed. pic.twitter.com/8fNdcWaTcQ
— Ed Balint (@ebalintREP) September 11, 2017
Mingming Cheng has been charged with murdering her daughter. Investigators believe that Cheng beat the little girl to death earlier in the day she was reported missing, for reasons that remain unclear. According to a sheriff’s report, Zhao found the girl lying on the floor with a green substance leaking from her mouth, before realizing she was unresponsive. He administered CPR, but could not revive her.
Ohio.com reports that on Monday, Zhau pleaded guilty to multiple charges: obstruction of justice, corpse abuse, endangering children, and tampering with evidence. Under the plea agreement, Zhau will testify against his wife at her upcoming murder trial and serve 12 years in prison.
Cheng’s murder trial is scheduled to begin on October 16.
The couple has another child, a son who was six years old at the time of Ashley’s death. He was placed in the custody of child protective services earlier this year, but it is unclear where he is living now.
Nancy Grace discussed this case on ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ earlier this year. Listen below:
Feature photo: Police handout