Jackson Township Police continue to remain tight lipped about the circumstances surrounding the death of 5-year-old Ashley Zhao. Zhao was reported missing from the family’s restaurant by her father Liang Zhao on Monday Jan. 9 at 9 p.m.

It was first reported Ashley had wandered out the back door when she should have been napping in a room at the back of the family restaurant while her parents worked.

The following Tuesday afternoon, after more than 12 hours of searching , Ashley’s mother Ming Ming Chen and father Liang Zhao gave police information leading to the discovery of her body, concealed inside the business. Both parents were arrested and charged in the child’s death.

Her older sister, age 6, placed into the custody of Stark County Children and Family Services.

Days later, questions remain unanswered concerning the approximate time of death, cause and manner of death along with the exact location where Zhao was murdered. Did her older sister witness her death?

Police and BCI were seen seizing evidence from the family’s restaurant and apartment late Tuesday evening.

It is also unknown where the child’s body was concealed inside the restaurant, ANG’s Asian Cuisine, located on Portage Avenue.

Friday morning, it was confirmed by police officials that Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink was no longer taking calls or conducting interviews with members of the media regarding the case. The Stark County Prosecutor’s office said Friday that they want to make sure the case stays in Stark County and that there would be no issues seating a jury.

Any discovery in the case would be filed under seal, keeping any information locked away until the conclusion of the case.

At the Stark County Coroner’s Office, an autopsy was completed Wednesday, but no one has claimed the body of little Ashley Zhao as of late Friday morning. Funeral or memorial services also remain unknown.

Many questions remain but no one will answer. How, where and when was Ashley murdered? Why was her mother still in the United States if she was here illegally and who will claim and bury this tiny victim of horrific violence?

All unanswered questions.


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