A Dallas jury reached a verdict on Wednesday for a Texas man who admitted he hid his special needs adoptive daughter’s body in a culvert.
Wesley Mathews, 39, will spend the rest of his life in prison for the death of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, a little girl he adopted from India in 2016. A year later, Sherin was dead.
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On Tuesday, Mathews testified that he froze with fear and panicked when he couldn’t resuscitate Sherin, who he claimed choked on milk in 2017.
“I tried to gently shake Sherin so she would be out of that spell but nothing was working and in a matter — pretty soon her head started going different directions and her head came to a still. I truly am sorry. I don’t have words to express how sorry I am to these fine officers, these fine people who were full of love and concern for my baby Sherin and they devoted a lot of time and effort and I could have easily stopped that.”
Investigators claimed the little girl was killed, although her body was too decomposed to get an official cause of death. A coroner testified that due to circumstances surrounding the case, she labeled Sherin’s death as “homicidal violence.”
An FBI agent testified Tuesday that there wasn’t a single photo of Sherin inside the family’s home. A Richardson police officer testified that Mathews waited five hours to call police and report Sherin missing, and even then, called a non-emergency number.
Testimony also included previous interview footage of Mathews describing to investigators how he put Sherin in a trash bag and tossed her into the cargo area of his car, along with household trash. Investigators asked him why he didn’t wrap her in a blanket, which would have shown he at least cared.
Mathews: “I put her in a bag to transport her safely.”
Investigator: “You put her with other trash. That shows me you have no care for this kid.”
Mathews: “I just laid her in the car and wanted to hide her somewhere and take my mind off of it.”
On October 22, 2017, weeks after she was reported missing, authorities found Sherin’s lifeless body in culvert close to East Spring Valley Road, near Richardson. She was wrapped in a garbage bag and shoved into the culvert at least 12 feet, until her fit hit a concrete block and Mathews couldn’t push her in any further.
Authorities said Mathews’ casual and uncaring attitude, coupled with other evidence and information, was enough for them to charge him with capital murder.
Mathews pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of injury to a child by omission, and the jury had the final decision on punishment.
Mathews’ wife, Sini Mathews, was arrested in 2017 and charged with child endangerment during the investigation. However, due to lack of evidence, the charges were dropped.
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[Feature Photo: Sherin Mathews/Handout]