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In story of missing Indian girl in Texas, the mystery of her father’s car

Sherin Mathews, who was adopted from an Indian orphanage and has “development issues and difficulty communicating”, was reported missing on October 7 by her 37-year-old father Wesley Mathews.

world Updated: Oct 17, 2017 16:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Texas,Indian girl,Punishment
This undated photo provided by the Richardson Texas Police Department shows three-year-old Sherin Mathews.(AP Photo)

The police are trying to trace the movement of an SUV owned by the father of a three-year-old Indian girl who disappeared in a Texas town after being left outside the house at night as punishment for not drinking milk.

Sherin Mathews, who was adopted from an Indian orphanage and has “development issues and difficulty communicating”, was reported missing on October 7 by her 37-year-old father Wesley Mathews, the Dallas News reported.

Wesley, who is under arrest, told the Richardson Police Department he last saw the girl around 3am, when he told her to stand by a tree as punishment. He, however, did not report Sherin missing till 8am.

The police said in a public statement that the Mathews’ SUV was “absent from their residence on Sunningdale, between the hours of 4am to 5am”. After looking for her, Wesley said he went inside to do laundry and decided to wait until it was daybreak to continue searching or for her to return, police Sergeant Kevin Perlich was quoted by the Dallas News as saying.

The mother of the girl was asleep at the time of the incident.

“We are asking for residents and business owners within an area where this vehicle could have travelled within that hour to review and preserve any video possibly containing this vehicle,” the said on Facebook.

More than a week after Sherin’s disappearance, the police said on Tuesday detectives were working “through the video surveillance collected”.

A representative of the Richardson Police Department told Hindustan Times a detective wasn’t immediately available for a comment. A response was awaited from the department’s public information officer.

Wesley Mathews, 37, arrested for suspected child endangerment for the treatment of his three-year old daughter after he punished her for not drinking her milk by telling her to stand outside by herself at night near an alley behind her home, is shown in this police booking photo in Richardson, Texas. (Reuters)

According to official documents, Wesley told the police he put Sherin in an alley near their house in the 900 block of Sunningdale, where coyotes have previously been spotted.

“The tree was behind a fence, about 100 feet south of the family’s home and across the alley,” the Dallas News reported. Sherin had disappeared when he went back 15 minutes later to check on her, the father said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the probe and along with the police and has searched the Mathews’ house.

“Why was the last sighting at 3 o’clock and the parents not call us until after 8am? That’s the question we want answered,” police Sergeant Kevin Perlich told a local TV news channel. “As far as why she was out there, how long she was out there, that’s the questions we have for the parents.”

Sherin’s parents also have a four-year-old daughter, who was moved to a foster family by the Child Protection Services, Dallas News reported quoting an agency spokesperson.

Sherin was reportedly abandoned by her birth parents when she was two years old. She was adopted by the Mathews when she was three.

With inputs from agencies

First Published: Oct 17, 2017 13:42 IST