Father of murdered 5-year-old pleads guilty, will testify against child’s mother

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio -- The father of a 5-year-old Jackson Township girl who was found dead in her parents' restaurant has pleaded guilty in exchange for testifying against his wife in the case.

Liang J. Zhao previously had pleaded not guilty on charges of murder and corpse abuse. He changed the plea to guilty on counts including of endangering children, gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

His wife, Mingming Chen, also faces charges in their daughter's death.

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. 

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