On Tuesday, the second day of a custodial court hearing, a judge denied Wesley and Sini Mathews’ access to their biological daughter. The ruling resulted due to expert testimony indicating their deceased adoptive daughter, Sherin Mathews, may have suffered abuse at the hands of her parents prior to her death.
The next scheduled hearing is a trial that could serve to strip the Mathewses’ parental rights from them with regard to their biological daughter, 4, who is now living with relatives, according to the Star-Telegram. The girl was removed from the family’s home by Child Protective Services not long after the investigation into Sherin’s disappearance commenced.
Last week, during the first day of the custodial hearing, Dr. Suzanne Dakil testified she was worried Sherin had been injured by her parents and reported her concerns to CPS.
The physician’s testimony revealed that in September 2016, Sherin was treated for a broken elbow. In January 2017, another doctor referred Sherin to Dr. Dakil after determining the child was underweight, and in February 2017, Sherin was admitted to the hospital with a skin infection when it was found she also had injuries to bones in her upper arm, according to the Dallas Morning News.
A set of X-rays taken of Sherin also showed she had various fractures of her legs that were at different stages of healing, according to Dr. Dakil’s testimony.
On Tuesday, a detective testified that Wesley told police he held Sherin after she died and then placed her body in the back of his vehicle with a bag of trash, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The detective also testified that when Sini woke up on the morning Sherin presumably went missing, she found Wesley in the kitchen. She joined her husband and the two sat there for about three hours crying and praying. They then called a non-emergency number regarding Sherin, according to a WFAA Dallas report.
When asked what Sini and Wesley Mathews did between 5 & 8 a.m. the morning they reported #SherinMathews "missing", police officer testified, "[Sini] said she stayed at the [breakfast] table with Wesley. They were crying and praying." pic.twitter.com/FW40pFaQQv
— Allison Harris (@AllisonFox4News) December 5, 2017
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 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.
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) December 5, 2017
Sini is also behind bars after being charged with child endangerment. She is being held on a $100,000 bond. Sini is accused of leaving Sherin, 3, alone at home while she and her husband, Wesley, went out to dinner with their biological daughter. The outing reportedly took place on October 6, the night before Sherin was reported missing, according to the Dallas Morning News.
During an October 23 interview with police, Wesley said the family left Sherin at home because she wouldn’t drink her milk and he became “impatient” with her, reports the Dallas Morning News. Wesley stated that Sini agreed to leave Sherin behind and was not “coerced” to do so. He said when they returned home about an hour later, Sherin was still in the kitchen.
— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) December 5, 2017
The Dallas County medical examiner has yet to release Sherin’s official cause of death.
An arrest affidavit for Wesley 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. Wesley stated 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.
Sherin was adopted by the Mathewses in the summer of 2016 from India.
Anyone with information about the Sherin Mathews case can contact the Richardson Police Department at 972-744-4800.