In an NBC news report, the father of a missing 3-year-old girl was arrested Monday after voluntarily giving new answers to investigators’ questions about his daughter’s disappearance. Wesley Mathews, 37, was charged Monday afternoon with first-degree felony injury to a child, a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment.
Police on Monday were waiting for confirmation that a body found over the weekend was that of the missing child. Sherin, who was adopted from India last year, was reported missing by her father on Oct. 7. He told police that he had ordered her to stand near a tree outside of their home at about 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk and that she was gone when he went to check on her about 15 minutes later.
Wesley Mathews told police that after doing an initial search once he realized his daughter was missing, he went inside and did laundry while waiting for her to come home or for daylight so that he could continue looking. He and his wife, Sini Mathews, attended a court hearing earlier Monday to determine whether they could regain custody of their 4-year-old biological daughter, who was placed in protective custody after her sister went missing. The judge postponed the hearing until Nov. 13 to give Wesley Mathews time to hire a civil attorney, said Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for Child Protective Services.
Search for the Young Girl
Authorities using dogs to search for Sherin found the remains Sunday in a drainage tunnel about a half-mile from the family’s home. Police said they believe Sini was sleeping when the girl went missing and was unaware of the alleged punishment. Investigators have asked neighbors and area businesses to check their video surveillance cameras for footage of a maroon Acura SUV owned by the Mathews family that they believe left the home between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Kent Starr, an attorney for Sini Mathews, said that as part of Wesley Mathews’ bond agreement, the couple cannot live together. Starr told The Dallas Morning News that his client is seeking to regain custody of her other daughter and that she has cooperated with the police in trying to help identify Sherin’s body.
Crime Facts at a Glance 2014 According to the Texas Department of Public Safety:
- There were 913,403 index crime offenses reported with a 20.3 percent clearance rate for Texas in 2014.
- The crime rate for the State of Texas was 3,392.2 index offenses for every 100,000 inhabitants.
- During 2014, Texas law enforcement officers made 878,686 arrests. Of those arrested, 6.6 percent were 16 years of age and under.
- Firearms were used in 63.3 percent of all murders reported.
- There were 65,338 aggravated assaults reported. Of these, 21.3 percent were committed by the use of hands, fists, and feet; 21.4 percent involved a knife or cutting instrument, and 24.2 percent involved a firearm.
- 185,817 family violence incidents during 2014. There were 201,051 victims and 195,511 offenders.
- There were 18,756 sexual assault incidents reported with 19,834 victims and 19,821 offenders.
Wrongful Death Attorneys
It is tragic a young girl goes missing and her father waited so long to report her missing and later lie to authorities. Supposedly the father was unaware of the actual danger that his daughter was in, but the police later find out that she was murdered by the hands of her father. Cases like this happen to more people than you know. after the sudden loss of a loved one, family members experience pain and suffering which can prevent them from taking positive action to be justly compensated for Wrongful Death. If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, please contact our office to speak to one of our attorneys to see what we can do for you.