Mom enters insanity plea in slaying of girl found hidden in family restaurant

Ashley Zhao


CANTON, Ohio -- An Ohio woman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity after her 5-year-old daughter's body was found hidden in the family's restaurant.


MingMing Chen, left, and Liang Zhao, right


Mingming Chen, of Jackson Township, entered her plea during a court hearing on Thursday. The 29-year-old woman is facing charges including murder, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse.

Authorities say Chen repeatedly punched her daughter, Ashley Zhao. Prosecutors say Chen's husband, Liang Zhao, tried to revive his daughter before helping hide the body.

Police say the two falsely reported the girl missing on Jan. 9. Her parents initially reported that the girl vanished after taking a nap at the back of the restaurant, Ang's Asian Cuisine in North Canton. They told police they believed she had wandered out the back door, reported CBS affiliate WOIO.

Investigators found her body concealed inside the next day.

Zhao pleaded guilty in September to charges including obstructing justice and gross abuse of a corpse. A murder charge against him was dropped.