Autopsy: 3-year-old Indian girl a homicide victim in Texas


A 3-year-old girl whose body was found in a culvert near her suburban Dallas home little more than a year after she was adopted from an Indian orphanage died from "homicidal violence," according to autopsy findings released Wednesday.

Steven Kurtz with the Dallas County medical examiner's office said Sherin Mathews was a victim of homicide but that he couldn't provide any other details from the autopsy at this point. The Texas attorney general's office must decide whether the full report can be released to the public, he said.

Police in Richardson have released their findings in Sherin's October death to the Dallas County district attorney's office, and a grand jury this month is expected to review charges filed against the girl's adoptive parents, Wesley and Sini Mathews.

The couple is being held at the Dallas County jail: Wesley Mathews is held on a $1 million bond and faces a charge of felony injury to a child, while his wife has a bond of $250,000 on a charge of abandoning a child.

Mitch Nolte, the attorney for Sini Mathews, told WFAA-TV that he's received a copy of the full autopsy report and that nothing in it implicates his client in the girl's death.

An attorney for Wesley Mathews, Rafael De La Garza, did not immediately return a call Wednesday for comment on the autopsy findings.

Wesley Mathews initially told police Sherin disappeared after he punished her by sending her out in the night to stand by a tree near the home.

He later told investigators Sherin had developmental disabilities and was malnourished. He described a special diet regimen in which she had to eat whenever she was awake in order to gain weight.

Mathews said he had been trying to get the girl to drink milk in the garage of their home, according to an arrest affidavit filed by Richardson police.

"Eventually the 3-year-old girl began to drink the milk. Wesley Mathews then physically assisted the 3-year-old girl in drinking the milk," according to the affidavit.

Mathews told police that Sherin choked and coughed and eventually he felt no pulse and believed the child had died. Investigators wrote that he "then admitted to removing the body from the home."

Sherin's disappearance in October generated a broad search involving a number of law enforcement agencies. Her body was found in the culvert Oct. 22.

Richardson police Sgt. Kevin Perlich would not say if additional charges could be forthcoming in light of the autopsy results, explaining that decision would be left to the district attorney's office. A spokeswoman for the office declined to comment.

The couple adopted Sherin in June 2016. Their 4-year-old biological daughter is staying with family in the Houston area.

___

This story has been corrected to show Sherin's body was found Oct. 22 not 24.

___

Follow David Warren on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WarrenJourno

___

Sign up for the AP's weekly newsletter showcasing our best reporting from Texas and the Midwest at http://apne.ws/2u1RMfv .


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Florida boy dies of rabies after bat scratch, school officials say
Florida boy dies of rabies after bat scratch, school officials say

A young boy died of rabies after being scratched by a bat, according to Christian Academy school officials in Eustis, Florida. The school posted about the boy’s death on its website, saying that he attended the school in 2016. The post said Ryker Roque “was a quiet boy adored by teachers and classmates.” Henry Roque, Ryker's...
WATCH: Firefighter catches child thrown from burning building
WATCH: Firefighter catches child thrown from burning building

Incredible video captured firefighters rescuing a child from a burning building in DeKalb County, Georgia. The helmet camera video, posted by DeKalb County Fire and Rescue, was taken at the Avondale Forest Apartments on Jan. 3. The video shows a person on top of a ladder drop a child down to a firefighter as the flames roar around them. The firefighter...
Alligator, Burmese python entwined on Florida golf course
Alligator, Burmese python entwined on Florida golf course

While playing a round Friday, a group of golfers found an alligator and Burmese python entwined on the course. Richard Nadler and his golf buddies came upon the reptiles as the group was playing the 10th hole at the Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek. The alligator had the python’s tail in its mouth and seemed more interested in its own struggles...
University rejects funding from group with Chinese communist ties
University rejects funding from group with Chinese communist ties

The University of Texas has decided to forgo funding for its new China Policy Center from a foundation with ties to the branch of the Chinese Communist Party that manages influence operations abroad. The decision by UT President Gregory L. Fenves followed an internal university review and a plea from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who warned that accepting...
Man finds daughter after putting her up for adoption nearly 40 years ago
Man finds daughter after putting her up for adoption nearly 40 years ago

Jerry Miller’s daughter was taken from him shortly after she was born in 1978 in Covington, Kentucky.  At that time, he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, and his chances of recovery were slim, according to WAVE.  His wife was 17 years old the newborn would be too much to take care of, so she was given up for adoption. Over the...
More Stories