Special-Needs Three-Year-Old Missing After Father Kicks Her Outside At 3 AM As Punishment
3-Year-Old Sherin Mathews Missing
Richardson, TX – The search continues for Sherin Mathews, age three, who was reported missing by her father on Saturday, October 7.
She was last seen by her father, Wesley Mathews, about 3 AM Saturday, in the 900 block of Sunningdale in Richardson, according to NBC DFW.
Police said that Wesley Mathews told detectives that he told Sherin to stand next to a tree behind the fence at their home as punishment for not drinking her milk. The tree is located in an alley behind their home.
Wesley Mathews told detectives that he returned about 15 minutes later, and discovered Sherin was missing.
Police said that he told them that he knew coyotes had been seen in the area where he left his daughter. No evidence was found at the scene that would indicate coyotes had been there, had attacked the child, or dragged her away.
Richardson Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich said that Sherin’s father didn’t notify police that she was missing until five hours later, and that the delay was “certainly concerning to us.”
He said, “That does not seem like a normal response that one would do if you have a missing child.”
Sherin is described as being three feet tall and weighing about 22 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink top, black pajama bottoms, and pink flip-flops.
Police said that she has “developmental issues and has limited communication skills.” She was adopted two years ago by the Mathews family from an orphanage in India.
Wesley Mathews said that Sherin was malnourished when he and his wife adopted her, and told detectives that it wasn’t unusual for her to wake up late at night.
Sgt. Perlich said eating late at night apparently helped increase her weight, and might explain why she was being punished at 3 AM.
Texas Child Protective Services officials said that they have had contact with the Mathews family before, but could not release more information because it was confidential. They removed Sherin’s four-year-old sister from the home on Monday, and placed her in protective custody.
An AMBER Alert was issued for Sherin after Wesley Mathews reported her missing, but it has since been canceled. The cancellation was expected because there was an absence of significant information that an abduction has occurred and no suspect information. It does not mean that there has been a change in circumstances.
Sherin’s father was arrested Saturday on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child. He posted bond of $250,000 on Sunday night and was released from jail.
The investigation is ongoing, and Sgt. Perlich said detectives have seized three vehicles, laptops, and cell phones, from the family. He said that surveillance video in the area is being reviewed.
Police said that Sherin’s mother is not facing any charges at this time.
The family attended Emmanuel Bible Chapel in Irving, and church elder Jose Cherian said that the mother was “very worried and depressed.” Her name was not released.
It’s not known at this time if the child was abducted, or was actually left outside as Mathews claims.
Anyone with information about Sherin Mathews or her location is asked to contact the Richardson Police Department at 972-744-4800.