By Melissa Chan
January 11, 2017

A 5-year-old Ohio girl was found dead inside her parents’ restaurant about a day after she was reported missing, and her parents have been charged in connection to her murder, police said Tuesday.

Authorities found the body of Ashley Zhao “concealed” inside Ang’s Asian Cuisine in North Canton, Jackson Township Police said in a statement. The discovery came several hours after the police department issued a public call for help in finding the missing girl.

The little girl’s parents told authorities that they believed their daughter wandered out a back door of the restaurant about 9 p.m. on Monday, police said.

Jackson Township Police Department

Ashley Zhao / Courtesy Jackson Township Police

Zhao’s mother, Mingming Chen, has been charged with murder, and the girl’s father, Liang Zhao, was charged with complicity to murder and complicity to commit felonious assault, according to the Associated Press.

Chen is accused of hitting the child several times with her fist on the morning she was reported missing, the AP reports. Police say the injuries she sustained resulted in her death.

The incident is under investigation. The girl had just turned 5 less than two weeks ago, according to the Canton Repository.

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