Adoptive father of 3-year-old found dead in culvert indicted for murder (video)


Little Sherin Mathews’ body was found in a culvert near her suburban Dallas home in October, and the 3-year-old’s death was ruled a homicide. Her death, which came about a year after she was adopted from an Indian orphanage, lead to the indictment Friday of her adopted father, Wesley Mathews, 37.

Mathews, 37, who was also charged in Dallas County with abandoning a child and tampering with evidence, stands accused of “homicidal violence” against his child.

According to Dallas News:

Sherin was killed by “homicidal violence” before her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, hid her body in a Richardson culvert where it went undiscovered for weeks. 

A Dallas County grand jury indicted him on the capital murder charge this week. The indictment says Mathews killed Sherin “by a manner and means unknown to the grand jury,” court records show. 

If convicted, Mathews could face the death penalty, should prosecutors choose to pursue it, or an automatic sentence of life without parole.

“We have not decided if we are actually going to seek death,” Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said during a news conference Friday.

Sherin disappeared from her home in early October. When her body was found on Oct. 22, Mathews said he put her outside on Oct. 7 because she wouldn’t drink her milk. Later, he changed his story, saying that the child had choked on her milk.

According to the Associated Press:

Mathews said he had been trying to force the girl to drink milk in the garage of their home, according to an arrest affidavit filed by Richardson police. Mathews told police that Sherin choked and coughed and eventually he felt she had no pulse and believed the child had died. Investigators wrote that he “then admitted to removing the body from the home.”

The indictment released Friday alleges Mathews caused his daughter’s death on Oct. 7 using a deadly weapon that “is unknown to the grand jury.”

According to Dallas News, in March, several months before Sherin’s death, a doctor found multiple healing fractures on the child.

Johnson said investigators are still working to determine exactly what happened to the child, but did not confirm whether there was continuous abuse of Sherin which contributed to her death.

“We do want to make certain that justice is done on the behalf of this little 3-year-old,” Johnson said. “We are going to be the voice for her.”

Johnson said evidence in the case was still unfolding Friday, but that there was no indication anyone else was involved in the death.

Mathews’ wife, 35-year-old Sini Mathews, is also being held on a charge of abandoning a child. An attorney for Mrs. Mathews has previously said she played no role in Sherin’s death, the AP reports.


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