Sherin Mathews, the three-year-old North Texas girl whose remains were found in a culvert nearly three months ago, died from “homicidal violence.”
On Wednesday morning, the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed they ruled the child’s death a homicide but did not disclose further details and have not yet released the autopsy report to the public. However, a law enforcement official close to the investigation told WFAA a cause of death could not be determined because of extensive decomposition. Investigators identified the body of Sherin Mathews in late October through dental records.
Mitch Nolte, attorney for Sini Mathews, the child’s adoptive mother, received the report Tuesday evening from the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. He told WFAA: “There is nothing in the autopsy results that indicate Sini Mathews had anything to do with the death of Sherin Mathews.”
Sini and husband Wesley Mathews adopted Sherin from India. Currently, Wesley remains in custody at the Dallas County Jail on $1 million bond and charged with injury to a child, a first degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life imprisonment. Sini, also in jail, was charged with child abandonment after a Richardson Police Department arrest warrant revealed that on the day before the child went missing, Wesley, Sini, and their biological four-year-old daughter went out to dinner, leaving Sherin home alone.
Wesley Mathews reported Sherin missing on October 7. Originally, he told detectives the child disappeared in the middle of the night after he punished her for not drinking her milk and ordered her to stand outside in a backyard alleyway, as reported by Breitbart Texas. Wesley said when he returned 15 minutes later she was gone and he went inside to do laundry, waiting for sunrise so he could continue searching for the toddler. He called police five hours after the three-year-old allegedly vanished.
Richardson police arrested Wesley Mathews on October 8, charging him with felony endangerment to a child. He made the $250,000 bond and, as a condition of his release, Wesley surrendered his passport and agreed to wear an electronic ankle monitoring device. Then, on October 22, police found a child’s remains in a storm drain around a half mile from the family’s home. Days later, they identified the body as Sherin.
On October 23, police rearrested Wesley Mathews, who changed his story. Breitbart Texas reported he told detectives 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.
Sini Mathews surrendered to authorities on November 16. They charged her with abandoning or endangering a child, a state jail felony, although they since have lowered her $250,000 bail to $100,000.
The couple has been fighting in the court system to regain custody of their biological child. Authorities placed the four-year-old with family located in the Houston area.
On Wednesday afternoon, Richardson police confirmed earlier reports. They issued a statement: “The Dallas Medical Examiner’s Office has completed its work and released the Sherin Mathews’ autopsy report. It has listed the cause of death as homicide and the manner as homicidal violence.” Detectives added they continue to work with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office in pursuit of justice for Sherin. They did not release further autopsy findings.
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