Sherin Mathews, the little Richardson, Texas, girl whose father said she choked on milk and died, was laid to rest Tuesday in a private ceremony. The burial location is not being released and is reportedly being kept purposely secret.
Attorneys Mitchell R. Nolte and Gregg Gibbs released a statement about the 3-year-old’s funeral, indicating that a ceremony was held honoring her family’s “religious beliefs and… cultural heritage,” according to USA Today.
The lawyers further noted that Sherin’s burial location is being withheld from the public; however, the girl’s adoptive mother, Sini Mathews, along with close family members and friends, attended the ceremony, USA Today reports. The choice to keep Sherin’s funeral and burial location private was due to the “intense press and social media attention” the case has been getting, Nolte and Gibbs stated. They added that the family wants to “focus” on “Sherin’s future in Heaven and not her tragic death on Earth.”
Nolte and Gibbs also said the family is grateful to all of the “prayers and love” they’ve received during this difficult time.
Although Sherin has been laid to rest, the medical examiner has not yet released the cause of the child’s death.
Sherin’s lifeless body was found by a cadaver dog on Sunday, October 22, in a culvert not far from the girl’s family home. Her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, 37, was arrested the next day and charged with Injury to a Child, a first-degree felony for which he could face five to 99 years behind bars if convicted. He is being held on $1,000,000 bond.
An arrest affidavit for Mathews indicates he told police that on October 7, he and Sherin were in the garage of the family home where he was trying to get her to drink milk. He said Sherin eventually began to drink and then he “physically assisted” her as she drank. He observed her choking, coughing, and breathing slowly. Mathews told police that “eventually” he couldn’t feel a pulse on Sherin and believed the little girl was dead. He also admitted moving her body from the family home.
This account differs from the initial story Mathews gave police the morning Sherin disappeared. At that time, he told authorities he had made Sherin stand outside by a tree at 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk. Mathews claimed that he went outside to check on her just 15 minutes later and she was gone. He was charged with child endangerment and bonded out of jail the next day.
Sherin was adopted by Mathews and his wife in the summer of 2016 from India. The couple has a 4-year-old biological daughter who was removed from the home by Child Protective Services (CPS) shortly after the investigation regarding Sherin commenced. Recently they learned their biological daughter will remain in CPS custody; however, the matter will be addressed at a court hearing on November 13, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
Anyone with information about the Sherin Mathews case can contact the Richardson Police Department at 972-744-4800.
[Featured Image by the Richardson Police Department]