On Thursday, Sini Mathews, the adoptive mother of now-deceased Sherin Mathews, was arrested and charged with child endangerment and abandonment, as new details emerge about the night before the 3-year-old was reported missing.
Police say that Sini and her husband, Wesley Mathews, left Sherin alone in their Richardson, Texas, home while they went out to dinner with their 4-year-old biological daughter. The outing took place on October 6, the night before Sherin was reported missing, writes the Dallas Morning News.
A recently released arrest affidavit indicates that Sini, Wesley, and their biological daughter went to a North Garland restaurant without Sherin.
According to WFAA, cell phone records obtained by police show that Sini and Wesley were in the restaurant and the time noted. In addition, their restaurant receipt indicates they ordered just one child’s meal, which was confirmed by their server.
Additionally, during an October 23 interview with police, Wesley admitted that he and Sini left Sherin alone and went to dinner with their biological child. He further stated that he became “impatient” with Sherin after she refused to drink her milk, which prompted him to leave the toddler at home while the rest of the family dined out, reports the Dallas Morning News.
Wesley also told police that Sini and his older daughter agreed to leave Sherin behind and were not “coerced” to do so. He stated when they returned home about an hour later, Sherin was still in the kitchen.
Richardson Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich told the Dallas Morning News that Sini could face additional or different charges in the future depending upon how the investigation goes into Sherin’s death. She is being held on $250,000 bond.
The Dallas County medical examiner has yet to release Sherin’s cause of death.
Sini’s arrest comes just four days after she appeared in court for a custody hearing regarding her biological daughter, who was removed from the family home by Child Protective Services shortly after Sherin was reported missing.
Sini, along with lawyers for both adoptive parents, were present at the hearing, which was postponed until November 29. Wesley’s attorney argued that his client should be present to fight “aggravated circumstances” that may damage his chances of getting custody of his daughter back, according to Fox 4. The couple’s biological child is now staying with relatives in Fort Bend County.
Wesley remains in police custody after being arrested in connection with Sherin’s death.
Sherin’s lifeless body was found by a cadaver dog on Sunday, October 22, in a culvert not far from her family’s home. Wesley, her adoptive father, 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.
A previously released 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, which she ultimately did. He said he then “physically assisted” her as she drank, subsequently observing that she was 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 that Mathews gave police the morning Sherin disappeared. At that time, he told authorities he 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 orphanage that cared for the little girl said she was found by passersby after being abandoned in some bushes as a baby, according to the Dallas Morning News.
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]