A Dallas grand jury indicated a Texas man on capital murder charges on Friday, after an official autopsy report previously revealed his adopted daughter died from homicidal violence.
ABC8 reports that Wesley Mathews is charged in connection with the murder of Sherin Mathews, a 4-year-old girl found dead in Oct., in a culvert close to her Richardson home. The case gained national attention after Mathews claimed he put the little girl outside at 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk. He later changed his story and said he “forcefully” helped her drink her milk, which caused her to choke and die.
A few weeks later, authorities made the discovery with the help of a K9 Unit and other search teams.
This is the capital murder indictment of Wesley Mathews. pic.twitter.com/kQN2bzDRnj
— Tanya Eiserer (@tanyaeiserer) January 12, 2018
At a 1 p.m. press conference on Fri., Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson announced Mathews’ new charges and thanked the Grand Jury, along with the Richardson Police Department, for the hard work and determination put forth in the case.
“I want to thank the Richardson Police Department for their tireless dedication to this case,” she said. “Without their hard work, we would not be here today. I also want to thank the Consul General of India, Anupam Ray, for his assistance as we move forward. I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to the Grand Jury for their time and efforts on this case. Sadly Sherin appears to be one of the many abused and neglected children in Texas. We are committed to continue our diligent and steadfast efforts to seek justice on their behalf.”
According to the Dallas Morning News, Johnson also indicated that it’s still undecided whether the state will seek the death penalty against Mathews.
Sherin’s adoptive mother, Sini Mathews, is also facing charges. Based on her husband’s admission of events, authorities charged her with “child abandonment or endangerment.”
In addition to murder, Wesley Mathews is facing charges of injury to a child, abandoning a child, and tampering with physical evidence.
Timeline on the Disappearance of Sherin Mathews
Texas authorities issued an AMBER Alert for a 3-year-old girl, said to be in grave danger.
ABC13 reports Sherin Mathews, 3, disappeared from the 900 block of Sunningdale at around 3 a.m. on Saturday, in Richardson. She was last seen wearing black pajama bottoms and a pink shirt.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Richardson Police Department at 972-744-4801 immediately.
New details are emerging in the case of a 3-year-old little girl in Richardson, Texas, who disappeared at around 3 a.m. on Saturday. Authorities broadcast an AMBER Alert on the child on Saturday morning when she vanished from her backyard.
NBC 11Alive reports that Wesley Mathews reportedly put his daughter, Sherin Mathews, in the family home’s backyard as a form of punishment when she refused to drink her milk earlier that evening. Police said that Mathews claimed he checked on his daughter around 15 minutes later and she was gone. The little girl disappeared from the 900 block of Sunningdale wearing black pajama bottoms, black flip flops, and a pink shirt.
Meanwhile, Sgt. Kevin Perlich reported that dogs walked door to door in the neighborhood, trying to track the little girl. So far, authorities have no leads.
“We’re trying to pick up any type of scent, or items of clothing, or anything like that, that might give us a clue she was there,” said Perlich.
Sherin, who stands 36 inches tall and weighs about 22 pounds, is a special needs child with limited verbal communication.
Police are looking for any evidence they can. They towed in the family’s two SUV and a minivan, in search “potential evidence.”
Anyone with any information is urged to call 972-744-4801.
Authorities in Texas canceled an AMBER Alert for a 3-year-old special needs girl after failing to obtain a suspect or vehicle information connected to her disappearance. The little girl vanished on Saturday, leaving no clues aside from her father’s disturbing account of what happened the night before she disappeared.
Mathews, 37, told police that he put his daughter in the back yard after she refused to drink her milk earlier that evening. He claimed that he checked on her 15 minutes later but she was nowhere in site. Police subsequently arrested Mathews and charged him with “abandoning or endangering a child.”
According to the affidavit, Wesley didn’t call 911 to report his daughter missing until after five hours after the fact. Further, he allegedly claimed he saw coyotes in the alley close to him home, but detectives found no evidence that an animal dragged Sherin away.
That does not seem like a normal response that one would do if you have a missing child,” Sgt. Kevin Perch said, referring to the father’s delay in contacting authorities.
Family members said that the Wesleys are a “nice family” and are in shock over the disappearance of their daughter.
“They’re nice people. The parents are believers in Christ,” Philip Mathews, Sherin’s great-uncle, told NBC. “I don’t know what happened.”
Investigators seized three vehicles, cellphones, and laptops from the Wesley’s home, in an attempt to gather information that could possibly lead them to the girl. Authorities haven’t yet indicated what, if anything, was found.
Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) removed another child, a 4-year-old, from the Wesley home on early Monday morning. CPS spokeswoman, Marissa Gonzales, indicated that the agency dealt with the family before, but she declined to described why.
CBS DFW reports that the Wesleys are no longer cooperating with law enforcement. They recently hired an attorney to represent them.
Sherin stands 3 feet tall and weighs around 22 pounds. She was last seen wearing black leggings, a pink shirt and pink flip-flops. According to investigators, Sherin “suffers from developmental issues and has limited verbal communication skills.” Anyone with any information should call 972-744-4800.
A recently-revealed autopsy report in regards to a Texas toddler girl found deceased in Oct. indicates the child’s official cause of death is “homicidal violence.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that on Wednesday, authorities confirmed the findings in the autopsy report on Sherin Mathews, 3, who was found dead inside a culvert in Oct. Earlier that month, her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, reported the child missing and said she disappeared after he put her outside of their Richardson home at around 3 a.m. for not drinking her milk. He later changed his story and reportedly told authorities while helping Sherin drink her milk, she choked and stopped breathing.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities initially arrested Mathews on charges of “abandoning or endangering a child.” Later, authorities upgraded his charges to first-degree felony injury to a child. Authorities also arrested Sherin’s adoptive mother, Sini Mathews, and charged her with “child endangerment or abandonment relating to the death.”
It’s still unclear whether the suspects’ charges will upgrade to murder, but Sini Mathews’ attorney, Mitch Nolte, indicated that there wasn’t evidence that pointed to his client participating in any way in Sherin’s death.
“There is nothing in the autopsy results that indicate Sini Mathews had anything to do with the death of Sherin Mathews,” Nolte said, according to ABC8.
[Feature Photo: Wesley Mathews/ Police Handout]