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Mother enters insanity plea in 5-year-old daughter’s death

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 (Photo courtesy: Stark County Sheriff)

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.

Ashley Zhao (Photo: Ohio Attorney General’s Office)

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. Investigators found her body inside Ang’s Asian Cuisine in North Canton 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.