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Missing girl's father arrested after body is found; says she choked on milk

UPDATE (5.00 pm 10/24/2017): The Dallas County Medical Examiners Office has confirmed the identity of the small child recovered on Sunday, October 22nd in Richardson, TX as 3 year old Sherin Mathews by using dental records. Cause of death is still pending, according to the Richardson Police Department.

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Atlanta, GA, October 24, 2017: Wesley Mathews, the father of the missing Texas toddler, was arrested and charged with Injury to a Child (TPC 22.04), a first degree felony punishable by life or from 5 to 99 years in prison, according to an update on the Richardson Police Department’s Facebook page. 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.

Mathews reportedly told police that he had been trying to get the 3-year-old girl to drink her milk in the garage. Sherin wouldn’t listen to him. Eventually, she began to drink the milk. Mathews then physically assisted her in drinking the milk. The 3-year-old began to choke. She was coughing and her breathing slowed. Eventually, Mathews no longer felt a pulse on the child and believed she had died. He then admitted to removing the body from the home, according to an arrest affidavit.

Wesley Mathews is currently in the Richardson City Jail and his bond has been set at $1,000,000.

Investigators from the Richardson Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation spent hours on Sunday combing through a field where police search dogs helped find the body inside a narrow 75-foot culvert, reports NBC News.

The body was found less than a mile away from the home of Sini and Wesley Mathews who adopted Sherin in June 2016 from Bihar.

The police received “more and more leads during the investigation and we followed up on that.

“It led to the search of that area with canines and that’s how we came across the body,” Perlich added.

Sherin had development disability and was malnourished, according to her parents.

Her father Wesley Mathews, 37, had earlier said he ordered his daughter to stand next to a tree behind the fence at their Richardson home at around 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk on October 7, according to an arrest affidavit.

The tree is across an alley from the home, reports CBS News.

Wesley Mathews went outside about 15 minutes later to check on her but she was gone, the affidavit stated. The child was wearing leggings, a pink long-sleeved shirt and pink flip-flops.

He did not notify the police that his daughter was missing until about five hours later.

Sini Mathews, who told police that she was sleeping when the child was sent out, has not been charged.

Later, the Child Protective Services took custody of the couple’s biological child.

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