The father of a missing 3-year-old North Texas girl has changed his story, saying she choked while drinking milk at 3 a.m. and that he took her body outside after he believed she had died.
Richardson police said the medical examiner used dental records to identify Sherin. He initially claimed he had left her outside around 3 a.m.as punishment "because she wouldn't drink her milk", according to a probable cause document relating to an earlier charge leveled against the father. He was arrested Monday and charged with felony injury to a child, a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment.
Previously, Wesley Mathews had told authorities he made Sherin Mathews stand outside because she wouldn't drink her milk, and she disappeared.
"Wesley Mathews said she wouldn't listen to him", according to the warrant. He is now lodged in Richardson City Jail and his bond has been set at $1 million.
"Mathews said he directed his daughter to stand near a large tree at approximately 3am (on Saturday local time) because she wouldn't drink her milk", an arrest affidavit said.
Investigators combed Sherin's neighborhood and the surrounding area with canine teams and helicopters and executed a search warrant at Mathews' home on October 10, police said.
"It is possible that he could bond out again", Perlich said. He previously had been charged with child abandonment and endangerment the day she was reported missing, but had been released on bail, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Wesley Mathews came clean about what he said really happened to his daughter Sherin on the morning of October 7, according to a Richardson police report. "Wesley Mathews then physically assisted the 3-year-old girl in drinking the milk", according to the affidavit.
Over the weekend, officials found a child's body in a culvert near the Matthews home. The couple described a special diet regimen that required her to eat whenever she was awake, in order to help her gain weight.
The FBI seized dozens of items from the family's home and their vehicles between 8- 12 October, including a washer and dryer, electronics and DNA swabs.
Earlier Monday, Mathews and his wife, Sini, attended a court hearing to determine whether they could regain custody of their biological daughter.
A spokeswoman for the state agency said family members in Fort Bend County, outside Houston, have expressed interest in taking care of the girl, but that a judge will decide where she is placed.
At that point, Mathews said the girl's breathing slowed.
Sherin's case also caught the attention of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.