Police arrested the mother of the three-year-old North Texas girl, who was found dead in a culvert in October, on charges of abandoning or endangering the child.
Sini Mathews surrendered to authorities on Thursday afternoon. In a statement, Richardson Police announced they charged her with Abandoning or Endangering a Child, a state jail felony. They booked her on $250,000 bail into the Richardson City Jail.
The arrest warrant released by the Richardson Police Department revealed events that occurred the day before three-year-old Sherin Mathews was reported missing. Based on cell phone records, investigators determined that Sini, husband Wesley, and their biological four-year-old daughter went out to dinner and left their adopted child Sherin home alone. An itemized restaurant receipt showed that the family only purchased two adult dinners and one child’s meal. The waiter who served the family confirmed to police that only one child was present with the Mathews at the table.
On October 7, Wesley Mathews reported Sherin missing. He originally told detectives the child disappeared in the middle of the night after he punished her for not drinking her milk at 3 a.m., ordering her to stand outside in a backyard alley by a tree. He said she was gone when he returned 15 minutes later and then, he went inside to do laundry, waiting for sunrise so he could continue searching for the little girl. He called police five hours after Sherin allegedly vanished.
The next day, Richardson police arrested him on felony endangerment to a child. He made bail and, as a condition of his release, Mathews surrendered his passport and agreed to wear an electronic ankle monitoring device.
Then, on October 22, detectives found a child’s remains in a storm drain around one half mile from the family’s home. Days later, they identified the body as Sherin. Breitbart Texas reported that, on October 23, officers re-arrested Mathews and charged him with Injury to a Child, a first degree felony. He remains in the Richardson City Jail on a $1 million bond.
Mathews changed his story, later telling police he tried to get Sherin “to drink her milk in the garage” in the middle of the night but she would not comply. He claimed she eventually did and he “physically assisted” her drinking from the glass of milk during which she began choking. According to police documents, he said she started choking, “coughing and her breathing slowed.” Mathews said he no longer felt a pulse on the child and believed she died.
However, this new affidavit shows that, on October 23, Wesley admitted to police he “grew impatient” over Sherin’s refusal to drink her milk on October 6 and “decided to leave” Sherin home and “go out to dinner,” telling Sini Mathews and their biological daughter to “come with him.” Sini Mathews “voluntarily complied without being coerced or threatened leaving Sherin Mathews home alone in the kitchen.” Mathews estimated they were gone for approximately an hour and a half. He also said Sherin was “still in the kitchen” when they returned. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet released the official cause of Sherin’s death.
Sini Mathews was in court Monday asking to regain custody of her biological daughter who was placed in foster care after Sherin disappeared. Authorities intended to place this child in the care of family in the Houston area.
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