The pediatrician who used to examine 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, the deceased adopted daughter of Wesley and Sini Mathews, 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 in Texas, as the couple wanted custody of their biological daughter, also aged three years old, on Nov. 29.
“I tried, actually, very hard to find another good explanation, and I didn’t have one,” Suzanne Dakil of the Referral and Evaluation of At Risk Children Clinic, also known as REACH, said, according to Dallas News.
Wesley is expected to either surrender his parental rights for his 3-year-old daughter or have them terminated by the state while Sini, who was a registered nurse, said she wants to see her biological daughter in a supervised CPS visitation if and when she posts bond. Her bond amount was lowered to $100,000. Wesley’s bond amount is $1,000,000.
The couple pleaded fifth amendment, which protects individuals from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves in criminal cases, to most of the questions posed to them.
Their biological daughter is placed with Sini’s brother, sister-in-law, and parents. Wesley and Sini face criminal charges for causing injury to Sherin, who was found dead in a culvert at Richardson two weeks after she went missing. Initially, Wesley said she went missing when he made her stand outside the house in the early hours of Oct. 7 as punishment for not drinking milk. He later changed his statement to say that she choked on milk. She was reportedly required to drink eight ounces of milk every day due to Vitamin D and iron deficiency.
Sherin was adopted in July 2016. Dalik said that Sherin’s medical history said she had been treated for an elbow fracture in 2016. She was reportedly pushed off the couch by her sister, the family had said then. In January 2017, a different physician recommended Sherin to Dakil’s clinic after it was found that she was underweight and fell in the “failure to thrive” category. A month later, she was admitted to the hospital for a skin infection and a possible muscle and joint infection. She had injuries in her upper-arm bones. Sini told the doctor that the girl had slipped at a playground and she had grabbed her. However, the doctor said the injuries were not consistent with Sini’s explanation.
After a series of X-rays, the doctor found fractures in the girl’s leg bones at different healing stages, and determined that the fractures happened after she came to the United States. Her parents were her sole caregivers, Dakil said in court.
“At that point, I had no explanation other than this child had been physically abused,” she said.
She called the CPS to report the case and alerted Sini that she would be doing so. However, Sini said that the child was not abused and that it would ruin their weekend plans.
The family left Sherin alone at home on Oct. 7 and went out for dinner after Wesley said he was frustrated with her for not drinking milk.
The couple’s lawyers told them to plead the fifth for most questions they were asked, such as, “Did she think it was a good idea to leave a 3-year-old home alone?”, “Did she recall telling a police detective that Wesley Mathews would do anything to protect her?”, “Was Sherin wearing a pink top and black leggings that last time she saw her?”.
The couple have separate lawyers. “She can’t win either way,” Sini’s lawyer, Mitch Nolte, said. “If she acts stoic, then she’s a cold woman. If she’s crying hysterically, she’s guilty. She can’t win with certain people.”
The CPS said that the parents were dangerous for their biological child too. Wesley’s attorney David Kleckner said that the child should be returned to them “because it’s their child. The facts need to come out in the courtroom. It’s their child, they love their child,” NBC-Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex News reported.