Liang Zhao told police his 5-year-old daughter walked out of the family’s restaurant in northern Ohio and never came back.
The Canton, Ohio, father said his daughter, Ashley Zhao, was taking a nap at Ang’s Asian Cuisine while he was working. But when he checked on her, she was gone, as previously reported by Dearly.
Police searched for the missing child for a day before she was found dead, hidden inside the restaurant.
That’s when police interrogated the girl’s parents, Fox8 reports.
At first, the child’s mother, Mingming Chen, denied knowing how she died.
The detective pointed out that the mom showed no emotion after she learned of her child’s death:
“I know that you’re not crying. You said, ‘I don’t have nothing left.’ Isn’t that what you told me? You don’t have no tears left, you don’t have nothing left. Ming, Ming, your daughter is dead.”
Chen repeatedly denied killing her daughter, but she finally admitted she went into a rage and beat her daughter to death in the family home.
The 30-year-old mother confessing on video, coldly stating, “I just killed her and then she died.”
When Chen was asked if she hit Ashley, she watched the detective move his hand in a striking motion then said, “Yes. Use your hand to do that.”
She also told the detective that it was her husband who hid their dead daughter’s body in their restaurant:
“I told my husband to take care of it.”
And that’s what he did. Zhao told authorities he cleaned the “green fluid” coming out of his daughter’s mouth, but she wasn’t breathing at that point and he wasn’t able to revive her. So, he hid her dead body away.
Chen claimed she beat Ashley to death because her daughter became disobedient after spending a long time in China with her paternal grandparents. She also blamed being overwhelmed at work:
“I need to take care of everything from the restaurant. I only have two hands. I’m not four hands girl, I’m two hands. I don’t want to do that to Ashley, but you can’t control yourself sometimes.”
Chen will now serve 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child endangering. After her sentence, she will be sent back to China.
According to ABC13, prosecutors explained why Chen wasn’t charged with murder:
County Prosecutor John Ferrero said evidence and interviews in the case indicate Chen didn’t plan or intend to kill her daughter and that it was a tragedy “committed in a fit of anger by a mother who had never bonded with her child.”
Zhao agreed to testify against his wife in exchange for getting his own murder charge dropped, according to Dearly. He pleaded guilty to endangering children, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and obstruction of justice, and will serve 12 years in prison.
Ashley’s 6-year-old sister was removed from the home and placed into protective custody. She is now living with family members.
Watch the mother’s chilling confession below: