WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Three-year-old Sherin Mathews disappeared on Oct. 7 around 3 a.m. when her father allegedly left her outside their home as punishment for not drinking her milk.
- On Oct. 22, Texas investigators found the little girl’s body in a drain beneath a road near the Mathews’ home.
- Wesley Mathews, the father, changed his initial statement telling the police that he was the one who left the girl’s body in the culvert.
According to the Dallas News, Sherin Mathews was adopted by couple Wesley and Sini Matthews in June 2016 from her native country India. She had a developmental disability and had difficulty communicating verbally.
Sherin was reported missing by her father nearly five hours after leaving her outside in the dark. He told the police that he wanted to teach her a lesson. He was later arrested by the police for endangering his child but he was released on bond.
Mathews told the police that he checked on his daughter after 15 minutes but she was already gone, the affidavit said.
The police discovered that someone had driven the family’s SUV away from the home and returned an hour later on the morning that Sherin disappeared.
The little girl’s body was positively identified on Oct. 24 using dental records. The cause of death has not been revealed yet.
The 37-year-old Mathews allegedly changed his previous statement, according to the affidavit obtained by PEOPLE. He told the police that his daughter choked on milk and died. He then removed her lifeless body from the house.
The affidavit says that Matthews was “trying to get the 3-year-old girl to drink her milk in the garage….he said she wouldn’t listen to him.” Mathews also stated that he “physically assisted” her in drinking her milk, and the girl choked.”
“She was coughing and her breathing slowed. Eventually, Wesley Mathews no longer felt a pulse on the child and believed she had died.” the statement says.
Initially charged with child endangerment, he is now charged with injury to a child after his story allegedly changed. He was transferred to the Dallas County Jail where he is being held on a $1 million bail.
Wesley Mathews was not charged with murder because prosecutors must still convince a jury that he killed his daughter “intentionally” or “knowingly.” Mathews has not yet entered a plea nor appeared in court. Rafael De La Garza, his lawyer, has not responded to requests for comment from PEOPLE.
The adoptive mother has not been charged with a crime. Texas Child Protective Services took the couple’s 4-year-old biological daughter from the home days after the incident. She will remain in foster care.