MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the death of a 5-year-old girl whose mother is charged with murder (all times local):
The father of a 5-year-old Ohio girl whose mother is charged with murder in their daughter’s death reported the girl’s disappearance in a 911 call the day before her body was found in the family’s restaurant.
Liang Zhao is heard in the call released Thursday saying he can’t find daughter Ashley Zhao and needs help. Police say the child’s body was found Tuesday in the North Canton restaurant.
Police allege Mingming Chen struck her daughter several times with her fist Monday and the girl died. Court records don’t list an attorney for Chen, who’s from China.
Liang Zhao is charged with complicity counts. His attorney says he maintains his innocence.
A judge has ordered the couple’s 6-year-old daughter remain with child welfare authorities for now.
Authorities say a woman charged with murder in the death of her 5-year-old daughter in Ohio is from China, isn’t a naturalized U.S. citizen and therefore might face deportation.
Ashley Zhao’s parents reported her missing Monday. Police say her body was found Tuesday at the family’s restaurant in North Canton.
Police allege that 29-year-old Mingming Chen struck Ashley in the face several times with her fist on Monday morning, and the girl died.
Chen also is charged with felonious assault. Court records list no attorney for her.
Ashley’s father, 34-year-old Liang Zhao, is charged with complicity counts. Authorities say he’s a naturalized citizen. His attorney says Zhao maintains his innocence.
The parents are jailed on $5 million bonds.
The Repository newspaper reports relatives of Zhao declined to comment at court.
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