Dallas, Texas, USA: 37-year-old Wesley Mathews, the father of Sherin Mathews, the 3-year-old girl whose body was found near their suburban Dallas home less than a year after she was adopted from an Indian orphanage has been indicted on a capital murder charge.
Dallas County court records show Wesley Mathews also faces charges of abandoning a child and tampering with evidence. He is already charged with felony injury to a child.
Police say Mathews told investigators that Sherin Mathews choked on her milk.
Mathews is being held at the Dallas County jail on a $1 million bond. His wife, 35-year-old Sini Mathews, is being held on a charge of abandoning a child.
EARLIER : Sherin Mathews Died From ‘Homicidal Violence’ – Autopsy Report – The autopsy report in the death of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews says she died of ‘homicidal violence,’ but there is no specific cause of death. Even though the Dallas County Medical Examiner confirmed that Sherin’s manner of death was due to ‘homicidal violence,’ because of level of decomposition, they could not determine an exact cause of death.
Sherin Mathews went missing for two weeks in October. Her body was later found in a culvert near her home.
Sherin’s adoptive parents Sini and Wesley Mathews have since lost custody of their biological child. Sherin was adopted by the Indian-American couple last year from Bihar, India
Wesley Mathews was arrested and charged with injury to a child, which is a felony charge. Sini Mathews was arrested for child endangerment.
Mr. Mathews originally told authorities that he was punishing Sherin at 3:00 a.m. for not drinking her milk. He ordered her to go into the family’s backyard and stand alone by a tree. When he returned about 15 minutes later, he stated, the child was no longer there.
The 37-year-old father then changed his story, according to arrest affidavits, claiming that he “physically assisted” Sherin with drinking milk. The toddler started to choke and, after coughing for a bit, her breathing began to slow down. When he could no longer feel the girl’s pulse, Mr. Mathews “believed she had died” and removed Sherin’s body from the home.
Wesley, the 37-year-old foster father, who has since been charged in connection with Sherin’s death, remains in the Dallas County Jail on a charge of injury to a child. Bail has been set at USD 1 million. The crime is punishable by up to 99 years in prison.
Sini Mathews had her bond reduced from $250,000 to $100,000 in December. If she is indeed released, she will be required to wear an electronic ankle monitor, as she is said to be a flight risk who could try to flee to her native country of India.
Sini Mathews is being held in the Richardson jail on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child, a state jail felony. Bail has been set at USD 250,000, police said. A state jail felony in Texas is an offense that is punishable by confinement in a state jail facility from six months up to two years.
The Richardson Police department have said they will be releasing more details on the case later today.