The Ohio Couple Who Killed Their Own Child

The Mystery Reporter
Crime scene picture from wikimedia commonsPhoto byWikimedia Commons

Earlier in 2017, a Chinese immigrant couple brutally killed their 5-year-old daughter in Ohio and hid her body inside a container. The wife was working in the kitchen of her restaurant, when she punched her daughter, out of frustration, until she passed out.

The husband found his daughter vomiting and having difficulty breathing. He then tried to give the little girl CPR but failed to bring her back to life. The couple hid the young girl’s body inside the kitchen, in a utensil. They immediately called the Ohio police to appear innocent in front of the police.

One day later, the police found the little girl’s dead body, hidden inside the kitchen of the couple’s family restaurant. Chen and Liang were both tried for murder and assault, in court. The latter faced 12 years of sentence in jail, for helping his wife in the murder. Meanwhile, the former was convicted to 22 years in prison, for committing first-degree murder.

A Seemingly Happy Family

MingMing Chen was a teenager, wen she came to the United States from China, for a better life. She met her future husband, Liang Zhao, in the US. Zhao was a US citizen, whereas Chen had settled in the US, illegaly. The two had strong feelings for each other and soon got married, after dating for a few months.

Chen and Liang settled down in Ohio, US. They had two daughters. The seemingly happy and polite couple was struggling badly with parenthood, as they were having a hard time managing their family restaurant. Chen barely bonded with her daughters.

She often sent them to live with their grandparents, in New York City, for long periods. Ashley Zhao was the elder daughter of the Zhao family. Chen frequently complained about Ashley’s disciplinary behavior. She found her child to be undisciplined and stubborn. The mother-daughter bond was weak as they shared little time.

Running a Business Was Exhausting

Chen ran a family restaurant, named Ang’s Asian Cuisine, in the North Canton region of Ohio. Liang was fully supportive of her business. The husband and wife gave most of their time to the restaurant, serving traditional Chinese Cuisine, in America.

The long working hours burned Chen out. She was always frustrated and angry. Liang often complained about Chen’s anger issues. He also claimed that his happy little family was only a token of his imagination. Chen’s anger was often directed towards her daughters.

Ashley was growing up, and she needed her mother’s attention. Chen habitually beat Ashley when she would not listen to her. However, Liang never condemned Chen’s outrageous behavior.

Murder Timeline

On 9 January, 2017, Ashley had returned from her grandparent’s house in New York, to live with her parents, in Ohio. The entire family was at their restaurant. Chen was working in the kitchen, while Liang helped her with the chores.

Chen’s two little daughters were playing inside the kitchen. They started fighting. When Chen saw Ashley push her little sister, she scolded her and instructed her to stop fighting with the latter. She repeatedly told Ashley to stop bullying her little sister. However, Ashley did not comply, which made her mother angry.

Chen Punched Ashley in a Fit of Rage

Chen was enraged at Ashley’s behavior. She could not contain her anger, and started punching 5-year-old Ashley in the face. It was 9.15 AM when Ashley was thrust into a kitchen tile, twice, and a green liquid started oozing out of her mouth.

Chen left her on the floor and continued to work, not realizing that that was the last time she was seeing Ashley alive.

Ashley Stopped Breathing

Liang noticed the green liquid coming out of Ashley’s mouth. He, immediately, took her to the bathroom sink. Ashley’s breathing slowed done. Liang wiped Ashley’s face and laid her down on the floor. After a few moments, Ashley’s breathing stopped altogether. It was then that Liang and Chen realized the intensity of the situation.

Liang Tried to Resuscitate Ashley

Liang tried to resuscitate his 5-year-old daughter by giving CPR. He kept pumping Ashley’s chest, in hopes that she would come alive. Unfortunately, Ashley never woke up. Liang then checked her pulse, which appeared to be nonexistent. He knew he had lost his first child.

Liang Hid Ahsley’s Body in a Kitchen Container

Chen was scared that the police would discover the details of Ashley’s murder. Therefore, she tried to spin a case that would make her seem innocent. She asked Liang to hide Ashley’s body. He hid it inside a kitchen container. They filled the container with salt, concealing Ashley inside it. Chen, then called the police.

Chen Filed a Complaint of Her Missing Daughter

Chen informed the police that she had been working in her restaurant’s kitchen when Ashley left from the back door. She had gone out to play, near 9 PM. However, she never returned. The police launched a statewide endangered child advisory in order to find Ashley.

The Police Found Ashley’s Bruised Body Hidden Inside the Restaurant

On 10th January, 2017, the police returned to Ang’s Asian Cuisine, to interrogate Chen and Liang, regarding Ashley’s case. The officer probed the couple while his team looked for clues. The police then discovered Ashley’s bruised dead body inside a container, in the kitchen.

The parents were immediately arrested on charges of suspicion of murder. Chen and Liang were taken to the police station, where they were pressured into admitting to the crime, they had committed. The couple broke down and confessed. Chen had not wanted to kill Ashley. She said to the police:

“I need to take care of everything from the restaurant. I only have two hands, I don’t want to do that to Ashley, but you can’t control yourself sometimes.” (MingMing Chen)

The Verdict of the Court

The couple was tried in the Stark County Jail, Ohio. The prosecution team charged Liang Zhao with complicity in murder, concealing the evidence, and misguiding the Police. Whereas MingMing Chen was charged with first-degree murder and committing assault.

Liang and Chen were given sentences of 12 and 22 years, respectively. Furthermore, the court declared that Chen was to be deported back to China once she had completed her sentence.

Comments / 0

Published by

Full time traveler, part time writer


More from The Mystery Reporter

Comments / 0