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

Alison Brie weighs in on sexual misconduct allegations against brother-in-law James Franco
Alison Brie weighs in on sexual misconduct allegations against brother-in-law James Franco

E!’s red carpet coverage of the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild awards got off to an awkward start when host Giuliana Rancic asked nominee Alison Brie a surprise question about the sexual misconduct allegations against her brother-in-law, James Franco. Brie is married to Franco’s brother, Dave Franco, who appears in “The...
Local schools find lead in water; more now plan to test
Local schools find lead in water; more now plan to test

Water from drinking fountains and sink faucets in more than a dozen local school buildings were found to have elevated levels of lead in the past two years, leading local school districts to replace some water infrastructure. The Bellbrook, Lakota and Northeastern school districts had water from multiple plumbing fixtures test above the federal limit...
COMMENTARY: The feds who spied on King will spy on you, too

“This is about foreign terrorists on foreign soil. That’s what this is about.” These were the words of House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday as he urged members to renew and increase unwarranted mass government surveillance powers, which the House did pass. Opponents of this legislation, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, believed...
Power restored, Ohio 571 closed after corn silo collapse in New Carlisle
Power restored, Ohio 571 closed after corn silo collapse in New Carlisle

UPDATE @ 4:55 a.m: Power is steadily being restored in Clark County with only a reported 15 customers experiencing an outage. Power was cut off as a safety measure after a corn silo collapsed Sunday night prompting crews to investigate the building.  UPDATE @ 3:35 a.m: Over 300 customers are without power in Clark County after a corn silo...
Morgan Freeman honored with lifetime achievement award at SAG Awards
Morgan Freeman honored with lifetime achievement award at SAG Awards

Legendary actor Morgan Freeman was presented with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards — one of the most prestigious honors in the entertainment industry — which was given to him by longtime colleague and friend Rita Moreno. “Morgan is way more than just an actor, narrator, producer...
More Stories