On Friday, a Jackson Township, Ohio mother pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for killing her 5-year-old daughter in early 2017 and then having her husband hide the body inside the restaurant the couple owned.
A videotaped confession, in which 30-year-old Ming Ming Chen reveals why she killed her child, was released this week. Last January, little Ashley Zhao’s body was discovered hidden in the family’s Chinese restaurant, just one day Chen and her husband Liang Zhao reported her missing. The confession took place in a police interrogation room, not long after the young girl’s body was found.
Initially, Chen said she didn’t know how Ashley died. According to Fox 8 Cleveland, a lead detective immediately noticed that Chen didn’t show emotion when she learned that her daughter was dead. That didn’t sit right with him.
Eventually, Chen admitted to the detective that during a moment of rage she beat her Ashley to death inside the family’s home kitchen.
"I just killed her and then she died," Chen stated. She also demonstrated with a hand gesture how she killed Ashley.
Chen blamed being overwhelmed with work for her act of deadly frustration. The mother was also reportedly annoyed with her daughter for becoming “disobedient” after spending some time with her grandparents in China.
"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 said.
Chen detailed in the clip that after killing the girl, she told her husband to hide the body.
"I told my husband to take care of it," she said.
According to Fox 8 Cleveland, Chen will be sent back to China after serving 22 years in prison for her daughter’s death.
In court last week, Chen's attorney Richard Harris Drucker, said, "I do believe that my client wanted to be a loving mother [...]. There was a tremendous amount of pressure that was put upon this couple, and it led to violence in the home.”
According to WKYC, Chen apologized through a translator in the courtroom, stating that she is "apologetic for what happened especially to my daughter. [...] I will perform very well in jail and I want to be a good person.”
Liang Zhao pleaded guilty in the fall to gross abuse of a corpse and obstructing justice. Murder charges for him were dropped.
[Photo: Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson Township Police]