Details emerge in disappearance, death of Sherin Mathews
10/26/2017 11:18 am PDT
At 3 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, 3-year-old Sherin Mathews is ordered by her father Wesley Mathews to stand alone outside next to a tree in an alleyway a hundred feet behind their home.
Why? For not drinking her milk. And when Wesley Mathews goes back 15 minutes later, she's gone.
What does Mathews do next? Search for his daughter? Call the cops? No. He does a load of laundry. Police aren't notified until five hours later.
Crime Watch Daily affiliate KDAF is closely following the timeline, saying when cops do show up, Wesley Mathews is arrested and charged with abandoning or endangering a child.
"He has stupidly admitted that he knew there were coyotes out in the area where he left her," said Dallas-based lawyer Chad Ruback.
An Amber Alert is issued, an intense search is on, both from on the ground and in the air.
The Mathews adopted Sherin from India last year. Some wonder why her family wasn't desperately searching for their disappeared daughter.
The community did join the search effort to find the tiny 22-pound girl as investigators collected evidence.
"Last night the Richardson Police Department, along with the FBI's Evidence Recovery Team did a search of the Mathews home," said Richardson Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich. "There are facts and stuff in that warrant that we feel are critical to this investigation and we do not want to jeopardize the investigation at this point, so they are sealed."
We do know detectives discovered that when Sherin disappeared around 4 a.m., someone left the home in the family's SUV for an hour before returning.
"They are going to find out where that SUV was and when they find out where it was, likely that's going to give them a clue as to what happened to young Sherin," said Ruback.
Wesley Mathews, who could face up to 20 years in prison, soon returned home.
"He has since bonded out and so he is no longer in our custody," said Sgt. Perlich. "There have been some conditions placed on his bond. One of those is that he surrender a passport and that he wear an ankle monitor."
But what about Sherin's mom Sini? She claims she was sleeping when her daughter vanished. She was cooperating with police but then stopped.
"The mere fact that Wesley may be accused of a crime is not indicative of Ms. Matthews," said Sini Mathews' attorney Kent Starr. "She does not know the whereabouts and all she wants is for her daughter to be returned."
Child Protective Services has since taken their 4-year-old biological child out of the home.
"The best thing the public can do is right now is don't speculate on what may or not have been done. Give us some time," said Perlich.
But that's hard for many when every minute is critical in the search for young Sherin Mathews.
Then, 15 days after Sherin went missing, cops make a disturbing discovery.
"Today at approximately 11 a.m., the body of a small child was discovered," said Sgt. Perlich.
The body was found in a culvert just 2,200 feet from the Mathews home.
"The M.E.'s office will need to respond and take custody of the body, try to make a positive identification as well as trying to determine an exact cause of death," said Perlich.
Then two days later cops reveal the body found is definitely Sherin Mathews.
Even before Sherin was identified, Wesley Mathews changes his story, this time telling police he "physically assisted" his daughter in drinking the milk. She "began to choke," then he "no longer felt a pulse" and believed "she had died." Mathews then admitted to removing the body from the home.
Wesley Mathews was once again arrested, this time charged with first-degree injury to a child.
"There could be additional charges filed against another person or there may be a modification to the charges he already has," said Perlich.
Wesley Mathews' bond is set at $1 million. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
And now the community is left only to mourn the life of sweet Sherin Mathews.