Family vehicle left after missing girl sent outside
Police seek video footage from area neighbors, businesses
About an hour after the father of a missing 3-year-old says he sent her outside to an alley as a punishment, one of the Richardson family's vehicles left the home, police say.
About an hour after the father of a missing 3-year-old says he sent her outside to an alley as punishment for not drinking her milk, one of the Ric har ds o n family’s vehicles left the home, police said Thursday.
Sherin Mathews was reported missing Saturday morning, when her father, Wesley Mathews, told police he had last seen the girl about 3:15 a.m. Between 4 and 5 a.m. Saturday morning, the family’s 2013 maroon Acura MDX SUV was absent from their home, officials said.
Police are asking neighbors and business owners to review and share video footage that could show the vehicle’s whereabouts the morning the preschooler disappeared.
Wesley Mathews, 37, told police he put Sherin in an alley near their house in the 900 block of Sunningdale, where coyotes previously had been spotted, to punish her, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
He told the girl to stand next to a large tree about 3 a.m., the affidavit said.
The tree was behind a fence, about 100 feet south of the family’s home and across an alley.
The father told police Sherin was gone when he went to check on her 15 minutes later, the affidavit said.
After looking for her, he said he went inside to do laundry and decided to wait until it was light out to continue searching or for her to return on her own, police Sgt.
Kevin Perlich said.
Police weren’ t alerted to the girl’s disappearance until about five hours later.
Mathews was arrested Saturday on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child. He was released from custody late Sunday after posting $250,000 bail. He is required to wear an electronic monitoring device and had to surrender his passport as part of the conditions of his bond.
The girl’s mother was in the house at the time, but was reportedly asleep and unaware of what her husband was doing, Perlich said.
On Wednesday, the attorney representing Sini Mathews said t hat all Sherin’s mother “wants is for her daughter to be returned.”
Police issued an Amber Alert on Saturday but discontinued it because it drew insufficient tips.
Sherin, who has developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills, was adopted two years ago from an orphanage in India.
She was malnourished and physically underdeveloped and does not have the same language skills of a typical 3-year-old, Perlich said.
Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said the agency is working with law-enforcement officials on the investigation.
She said the couple’s 4-year-old daughter was removed from the Richardson home early Monday and placed in foster care. The family has had previous contact with CPS, Gonzales said, but further details were not released. Neither child had been in foster care before Sherin’s disappearance.
Starr, Sini Mathews’ attorney, said Wednesday that neither parent had ever harmed Sherin, but he said he could not comment on the previous CPS contact.
Sherin is described as Asian, about 3 feet tall and 22 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
She was last seen wearing a pink top, black pajama bottoms and pink flip-flops.
Anyone with information about the girl or with video footage is encouraged to contact Richardson police at 972-744-4800.