On Friday morning, both adoptive parents of deceased Texas toddler, Sherin Mathews, appeared in court and signed paperwork that stripped them of parental rights for their surviving biological daughter.
Wesley and Sini Mathews each wore street clothes as they walked into the Child Protective Services hearing, reports WFAA 8 Dallas. In addition, each conspicuously donned shackles, as both have been criminally charged in relation to Sherin’s case.
Neither showed any emotion while in the courtroom, WFAA 8 Dallas reports.
Nonetheless, according to Sini’s attorney, Mitch Nolte, the decision to relinquish parental rights to her 4-year-old daughter was “extremely difficult” for Sini, reports NBC 5 Dallas. He added that due to her pending criminal case, Sini found the move to be in the “best interests of her child” and wants what is best for her.
After giving up parental rights, Wesley and Sini have no legal relationship with their biological daughter and she can now be legally adopted by an outside party, according to WFAA 8 Dallas.
CPS removed the child from the Mathews’ home shortly after the investigation into Sherin’s case began.
Weeks ago, the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed Sherin, 3, died of “homicidal violence,” according to NBC 5 Dallas.
The girl’s adoptive father, Wesley, was subsequently charged with capital murder in Sherin’s death after a grand jury found that during the commission of the killing, he “did use a deadly weapon, the exact nature and description of which is not known,” reports India-West. The indictment further notes that Mathews “intentionally and knowingly” caused Sherin’s death.
Although the grand jury indictment does not implicate Sherin’s adoptive mother, Sini, in the child’s death, it did result in a charge of abandonment and endangering of a child against her, reports NBC 5 Dallas. Wesley also faces this charge.
Both Wesley and Sini are accused of leaving Sherin, 3, alone at home while they 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.
Sherin’s lifeless body was found by a cadaver dog on Sunday, October 22, in a culvert not far from her family’s Richardson home. Wesley was arrested the next day and charged with Injury to a Child.
Wesley told police on October 23 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 when the family returned home about an hour later, Sherin was still in the kitchen.
Additionally, an official arrest affidavit for Wesley states he told police that on October 7, he and Sherin were in the garage of the family home where he “physically assisted” her as she drank milk. He claimed that he then observed her choking, coughing, and breathing slowly. Wesley stated that he believed the little girl was dead and removed her body from the family home.
Sherin was adopted by the Mathews in the summer of 2016 from India.