Dallas: Wesley Mathews, father of Sherin Mathews, was arrested on Monday after giving contradictory statement of events about his daughter’s disappearance. Sources said Sherin Mathews could have been murdered at home after the FBI retrieved DNA swabs from Wesley Mathews’ car.
He has been charged with first degree felony injury to a child, a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment.
“Mr. Mathews voluntarily arrived at the Richardson Police Station with his attorney and asked to speak with detectives. He provided an alternate statement of events from those which he had given previously, regarding the disappearance of Sherin. Wesley Mathews is currently in the Richardson City Jail and his bond has been set at $1,000,000. We are still awaiting a positive identification from the Dallas County Medical Examiners office for the child’s body found on, believed to be Sherin Mathews,” said Richardon Police Department in a Facebook post.
The Richardson police on Sunday broke the news of finding the body of a child, expressing apprehension that it was ‘most likely’ of Sherin. They, however, did not confirm the identity.
The local community has been in prayer and a rescue effort since the child was reported missing on October 7.
Sherin Mathews, who has developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills, was last seen outside her family’s backyard in Richardson city in Texas on October 7 after her Keralite father reportedly upbraided her and sent her alone outside late at night as punishment for not finishing her milk.
Police have not released any details about how the child died. They, however, indicated they had no reason to believe that the body of a different child had been found. Mathews reportedly adopted Sherin two years ago from an orphanage in Bihar.
The father was previously arrested and charged with felony endangerment to a child and was placed on electronic ankle monitoring. He surrendered his passport as a condition of making bond on October 9. He was later released.
Child Protective Services took custody of the Indian- American couple’s other biological daughter, age 4, shortly after Mathews was arrested.
Sini Mathews, the girl’s mother does not face any charges. She was in the house at the time, but was reportedly asleep and unaware of what her husband was doing, police had said earlier.
The older sibling of the missing girl will remain in foster care for at least three more weeks.
A Dallas County judge Monday postponed custody hearing until November 13 for the sister of Sherin to allow their father to hire an attorney.
“We are deeply concerned about the missing child. Indian Embassy in US is actively involved and they keep me informed,” Swaraj tweeted on October 19.
“We are closely monitoring the Sherin Mathews case. We have established contact with the community and authorities,” India’s Consul General in Houston, Anupam Ray had tweeted.