The body of a 3-year-old Texas girl who has been missing for more than two weeks was found, and her father is now facing charges.
Wesley Mathews, 37, is the father who has been accused of leaving his toddler daughter, Sherin, outside at night as punishment for not drinking her milk.
Sherin went missing on Oct. 7 and was nowhere to be found for more than two weeks until a body was located on Sunday and confirmed to be her on Tuesday.
According to HuffPost, Mathews met with Richardson police detectives to discuss the case, but his story contradicted what authorities “were initially told,” Sgt. Kevin Perlich reportedly said.
Mathews first told the police that he ordered Sherin to stand near a tree outside their home at 3 a.m. for refusing to drink her milk. He said that after approximately 15 minutes, he went to check on the toddler but she was gone. However, he waited five hours before notifying the authorities of her disappearance.
In his latest account of the incident, Mathews admitted that after rejecting his order to drink her milk in their garage, Sherin eventually obeyed, Reuters reports.
As she was swallowing the beverage, Mathews said she “began to choke. She was coughing and her breathing slowed.”
“Eventually, Wesley Mathews no longer felt a pulse on the child and believed she had died,” the affidavit reportedly said. He then admitted to removing her body from the home.
Mathews faces charges of injury to a child, a first-degree felony that could result in up to life in prison. His bail was set at a whopping $1 million.
He could also be looking at more charges as the investigation is still underway. Authorities are seeking additional answers in this case, such as why Mathews and Sherin were in the garage while she drank milk.
Police found a child’s body in a culvert near the Mathews’ home on Sunday and believed it to be Sherin. However, a medical examiner later confirmed the identification of the child.
Sadly, Sherin had development issues and limited verbal communication skills, making the cruel and unusual punishment she endured that much more heartbreaking. She was not just a typical disobedient child; she required a distinct level of patience and understanding that Mathews clearly lacked.
Mathews’ wife, Sini Mathews, was reportedly asleep when her thoughtless husband put their toddler outside. She has not been charged with a crime, and she cooperated with police to help identify the body.
The couple’s 4-year-old biological daughter has since been placed in foster care as the investigation proceeds.
The Mathews family adopted Sherin in June from an orphanage located in the Indian state of Bihar. When news first broke of her disappearance, Indian officials expressed concern for her, including Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister of external affairs.
We are deeply concerned about the missing child. Indian Embassy in U.S. is actively involved and they keep me informed. https://t.co/okcLeka67U— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) October 19, 2017
This entire ordeal is beyond tragic and gut-wrenching. How empty and deplorable must one be to cause this kind of harm to a special needs toddler? May justice be served in Sherin's name.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters