Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 13, 2018-Thursday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Police find body in Texas, could be of missing girl Sherin Mathews

Three-year-old Sherin Mathews was left outside her home by her father at 3 am on October 7 as punishment for not drinking her milk.

world Updated: Oct 23, 2017 19:14 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Sherin Mathews,Wesley Mathews,three-year-old Indian girl
File photo provided by the Richardson police department in Texas shows three-year-old Sherin Mathews. Police in the Dallas suburb say they've found the body of a small child on Sunday, not far from the home of Sherin, who's been missing since October 7. Her father, Wesley Mathews, has told authorities he ordered the child to stand next to a tree outside their home at 3 am on October 7 as punishment for not drinking her milk. (AP)

Police in Richardson, Texas have found a body they suspect could be that of Sherin Mathews, the three-year-old adoptive daughter of an Indian-American family who went missing from outside her house on October 7.

Authorities are waiting for the medical examiner to identify the body and ascertain the cause of death on Monday, an official told Hindustan Times on phone.

“The indications are that it is most likely her, however, we have not had positive ID. So until we have a positive identification we are not going to say it is Sherin,” Sgt Kevin Perlich told Dallas News, a local publication.

“As the investigation continued to unfold, more and more stuff came to (the) surface and we followed up on that," Perlich said. “It led to the search of that area with canines, and that's how we came across the body.”

The body was found in a culvert with the help of search dogs.

Police have said the girl was sent out of the house at 3 am by her father, Wesley Mathews, as punishment for not finishing her milk. She was made to stand in an alley where coyotes (wolf-like wild dogs native to North America) had been seen before, Dallas New reported.

When Mathews went back for her 15 minutes later, she was not there. He then went back inside and did the laundry and waited for the child’s return, he told police. The mother, Sini Mathews, was asleep at the time.

Police were finally called at 8 am, and Mathews was arrested later that day and charged with endangering the life of a child. He has been out of bail after he posted a bond of $250,000, with an electronic monitor strapped to his ankle.

The couple from Kerala had adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Nalanda, Bihar, in 2016. Police have said the girl, who was physically underdeveloped at the time, did not have the language skills of a three-year-old.

Child Protective Services has taken custody of the couple’s elder child, who is four.

The girl’s heartrending case received widespread attention in the US and India. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has been monitoring the incident. “We are deeply concerned about the missing child. Indian Embassy in US is actively involved and they keep me informed,” she tweeted last week.

Investigators used drones and dogs for the search, took more than 50 items from the home of the family, and sought to track the GPS of the family car, which was reportedly driven out between 4 am and 5 am on October 7, shortly after she went missing.

Richardson police chief Jimmy Spivey tweeted on Sunday, “Worst news finding child's body. If it's #SherinMathews happy recovered so properly laid to rest.” He added, “Will bring person(s) responsible to justice.”

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 19:13 IST