Dallas, Texas, USA: Richardson Police Department, at a press conference today, said they located a child’s body Sunday in the area where 3-year-old Sherin Mathews had been reported missing earlier this month. The body found Sunday was less than a mile from where the toddler’s family lives. Police say it’s too early to identify if the child’s body is Mathews. Police say it’s not clear how the child died.
An AMBER Alert was first issued for Mathews when she went missing on October 7 in Richardson, Texas. It was eventually canceled because of a lack of progress, but the investigation continued.
The young girl — who has developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills — was last seen by her father, Wesley Mathews, wearing a pink top and black pajama bottoms two weeks ago.
37-year-old Wesley Mathews told authorities he took his daughter outside at 3 a.m. Saturday to teach her a lesson for not drinking her milk.
Mathews told officers he asked his daughter to stand by a large tree behind a fence in the backyard, according police records. The tree is across an alley near the home, which backs railroad tracks.
When he went outside 15 minutes later to check on the toddler, she was gone.
Wesley Mathews alerted authorities of his daughter’s disappearance five hours later, according to police who called the delay “concerning.”
He also told police that coyotes have been spotted in the alley where he left his young daughter.
Wesley Mathews was arrested and charged Saturday with abandoning or endangering a child.
He was released from jail a day later on a $250,000 bond.
Police say the girl’s mother, Sini Mathews, was asleep during the incident and is not facing charges.
The couple’s 4-year-old daughter was removed from the home and placed in foster care, according to Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
EARLIER: Texas Police Search For 3 Yr Old Girl Missing After Dad Made Her Stand Outside At Night As Punishment – Authorities were searching on Monday for a three-year-old suburban Dallas girl who went missing over the weekend when her father allegedly made her stand outside in the middle of the night as punishment for not drinking her milk.
Wesley Mathews, 37, ordered Sherin Mathews to stand next to a tree behind the fence at their Richardson home at around 3am on Saturday, according to an arrest affidavit. The tree is across an alley from the home.
Mathews went outside about 15 minutes later to check on her, but Sherin was gone. The child, who has a developmental disability, was wearing leggings, a pink long-sleeved shirt and pink flip-flops.
The father didn’t notify police that his daughter was missing until about five hours later, according to the affidavit.
Mathews was arrested on Saturday on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child. He posted bond late Sunday, according to police Sergeant Kevin Perlich. A working phone number for Mathews could not be found and it’s not clear if he’s hired an attorney to speak on his behalf.