Amber Alert issued for 4 children, one with critical medical needs, taken by mother

Parents accused of death of 5-year-old Jackson Township girl plead not guilty

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CANTON, Ohio -- The parents accused in the murder of their little girl appeared in Stark County Common Pleas Court in Canton Wednesday afternoon.

Mingming Chen and Liang J Zhao entered pleas of not guilty during the arraignment. They were indicted last week on several charges including murder and corpse abuse.

During the proceedings Wednesday, the judge addressed interpretation services for Chen, who is not a citizen of the United States.

Chen and Zhao waived their rights to a speedy trial. A pretrial hearing in the case is set for April 20.

The indictment accuses the couple of evidence-tampering, obstructing justice and child endangering.

Their daughter, Ashley Zhao, 5, was reported missing on Jan. 9. Authorities searched for the little girl for hours; on Tuesday, Jan. 10, her body was found hidden inside her parents’ restaurant, Ang’s Asian Cuisine, in Jackson Township.

Continuing coverage, here.