Sherin Mathews, whose body was found in a culvert after her father reported her missing, died of “homicidal violence,” according to the autopsy report. The three-year-old girl was found dead near her home at Richardson, Texas, in October 2017.
Richardson Police issued a statement on Jan. 3, saying that the medical examiner’s office listed the cause of the child’s death as homicide. It also listed the manner of death as homicidal violence, though they didn’t explain any further, NBC 5 reported.
The exact cause of the girl’s death could not be ascertained due to extensive decomposition of her body, the Dallas County medical examiner’s office said, Fox 4 reported. Sherin was reported missing on Oct. 7 and her body was found on Oct. 22 after police launched an extensive search. The body was identified with the help of dental records.
Stating the child’s death as a homicide means that someone caused her death intentionally, knowingly or with criminal negligence. For the prosecutors to charge Sherin Mathews’ adoptive father Wesley Mathews with murder in her death, they must convince the jury that he killed her “intentionally” or “knowingly.” A jury must, then, consider his intentions, whether Mathews knew that his actions could cause the child’s death.
A permanent site in memory of Sherin was unveiled at Restland Funeral home and Cemetery in Dallas last week. The granite bench is engraved with her name and an epitaph that reads: “A life that touches others goes on forever.”
The Richardson Police department arrested Wesley Mathews on Oct. 23, 2017. The Indian American father, who changed his story several times, saying initially that she vanished after he made her stand outside the house at 3am as punishment for not drinking milk, and later saying that she choked after he forced her to drink milk, faces charges of causing injury to a child. It is a first degree felony that is punishable by a term of five years to 99 years in prison.
On Dec.5, 2017, new details shared by the police showed that the “cold and stiff” body of Sherin was bundled at the back of the car with a bag of trash by Wesley before the body was put in a culvert by him. The information was revealed during the custody hearing of Wesley and Sini Mathews’ 4-year-old biological daughter, who is in foster care.
In November 2017, the pediatrician who used to examine Sherin said that she had called the Child Protective Services (CPS) after finding multiple fractures in various stages of healing in the child’s body. The statement was made during a CPS hearing at Dallas, as the couple wanted custody of their biological daughter.
Sini Mathews, the adoptive mother, was arrested on Nov. 16 last year, and faces charges of child endangerment and abandonment. Her bail was set at $250,000 while Wesley is being held on a $1 million bond.