Sherin’s fa­ther charged with mur­der

The Asian Age - - World - SEEMA HAKHU KACHRU

The In­dian- Amer­i­can foster fa­ther of Sherin Mathews, a 3- year- old In­dian girl whose body was found in a cul­vert near their sub­ur­ban Dal­las home in mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances last Oc­to­ber, was on Satur­day in­dicted for cap­i­tal mur­der by a grand jury.

The mur­der charge, which could carry the death penalty, was filed against Wes­ley Mathews, 37, af­ter an au­topsy in the death of the tod­dler adopted from an or­phan­age in Bi­har showed that she died of “homi­ci­dal vi­o­lence.”

Sherin’s foster mother, 35year- old Sini Mathews, was also in­dicted on a charge of aban­don­ing a child. The pun­ish­ment for that ranges from two to 20 years in prison with a fine up to $ 10,000.

Author­i­ties have not said what hap­pened to Sherin, and court doc­u­ments only al­lege that Mathews caused his daugh­ter’s death us­ing a deadly weapon “by a man­ner and means un­known to the grand jury.”

“We can’t go into de­tails, but based on that au­topsy re­port, we were able to de­ter­mine that we can seek cap­i­tal mur­der for this case,” Dal­las County district at­tor­ney Faith John­son said at a news con­fer­ence an­nounc­ing the in­dict­ment.

Dal­las County court records show Sherin’s adop­tive fa­ther also faces charges of aban­don­ing a child and tam­per­ing with ev­i­dence.

The fate of the cou­ple’s 4year- old bi­o­log­i­cal daugh­ter is still be­ing de­cided with another child pro­tec­tive ser­vices ( CPS) hear­ing sched­uled for the end of this month. They can ei­ther for­feit their parental rights, or the court will de­cide to sched­ule a civil trial to pos­si­bly ter­mi­nate their rights.

Last month, the cou­ple, hail­ing from Ker­ala, tem­po­rar­ily lost their rights to see their bi­o­log­i­cal child, who has been placed with a fam­ily mem­ber in the Hous­ton area.

Sherin went miss­ing from her home in Richard­son on Oc­to­ber 7 and her body was found on Oc­to­ber 22 in a cul­vert in sub­ur­ban Dal­las by a ca­daver dog af­ter an in­tense search. The tod­dler’s body was iden­ti­fied days later us­ing her den­tal records.

Ini­tially, Wes­ley told po­lice that he put her out­side their home at 3 a. m. To dis­ci­pline her for not drink­ing her milk.

His story changed af­ter her body was found in a cul­vert, telling po­lice that he “phys­i­cally as­sisted” with pour­ing the milk down Sherin’s throat and then moved her body af­ter he re­alised she had choked and died.

Wes­ley also ad­mit­ted to po­lice that he re­moved Sherin’s body from the home af­ter chang­ing his story mul­ti­ple times on the events lead­ing up to her death. Wes­ley and his wife Sini also left Sherin home alone the night be­fore her dis­ap­pear­ance, ac­cord­ing to an ar­rest war­rant af­fi­davit.

Wes­ley Mathews

Sherin Mathews

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