The location of Sherin Mathews’ gravesite was kept private until Saturday when the location was made known to the public, weeks after the 3-year-old’s body was found in a culvert near her Richardson, Texas, home.
Sources told WFAA Dallas that Sherin’s family wanted her burial location to remain secret until the girl’s headstone was ready. The toddler’s full name, Sherin Susan Mathews, appears on the headstone which also reads as follows.
“Moment In Our Arms, Lifetime In Our Hearts.”
The moving words on Sherin’s headstone were chosen by her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, a source told WFAA Dallas.
The headstone is located in a cemetery in the southwest part of the Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home in Allen. The family asks those who visit Sherin’s grave to be respectful when they do, reports WFAA Dallas.
Both Wesley and Sherin’s adoptive mother, Sini Mathews, are jailed and charged in connection with her death. Recently, they were denied access to their biological daughter, according to the ruling of District Judge Cheryl Lee Shannon. The girl was removed from the home by Child Protective Services shortly after the investigation into Sherin’s disappearance began.
The custody hearing ruling was due in part to the testimony given by Dr. Suzanne Dakil, who testified she worried Sherin had been injured by her parents and reported her concerns to CPS. She revealed that in September 2016, Sherin was treated for a broken elbow; in January 2017, the toddler was underweight; and in February 2017, Sherin had a skin infection and injuries to her upper arm bones, according to the Dallas Morning News.
X-rays of Sherin also showed she had a number of leg fractures that were at different stages of healing, according to Dr. Dakil’s testimony.
A detective testified that Wesley 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.
He also testified that when Sini woke up on the morning Sherin vanished, she found Wesley sitting at the kitchen table. She joined him and the two sat there for about three hours crying and praying. The couple then called a non-emergency number regarding Sherin, according to a WFAA Dallas report.
Kelly Mitchell, an investigator with CPS, testified that when she visited the Mathewses’ home, she saw multiple photos of Sherin’s sister – the biological daughter of Wesley and Sini – but not one of Sherin, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Family of #SherinMathews tells @jobinpnews Sherin was laid to rest at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Cemetery in #Allen. Family says they wanted to wait for headstone to arrive before releasing location. Details on @wfaa at 10. pic.twitter.com/eBWoD1ZvqR— Alisha Ebrahimji (@AlishaEbrahimji) December 9, 2017
After the hearing, Wesley’s lawyer, Rafael De La Garza, spoke at a news conference, telling the press there were no photos of Sherin in the family home because she was “very disfigured” and such images would be “unflattering.”
Sherin’s lifeless body was found by a cadaver dog on Sunday, October 22, in a culvert not far from her 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.
Sini is charged with child endangerment and is being held on a $100,000 bond. She 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.
On October 23, Wesley told police that Sherin was left at home because she wouldn’t drink her milk and he became “impatient” with her, reports the Dallas Morning News. He said Sini agreed to leave Sherin behind and was not “coerced” into doing so. He told police that when the family returned home about an hour later, Sherin was still in the kitchen.
The Dallas County medical examiner has yet to release Sherin’s official cause of death.
An arrest affidavit for Wesley states that 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.