The father of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, whose body was found near her home in Dallas, Texas, has been indicted for capital murder by a grand jury. If convicted of the charges, he could be awarded a death penalty by the court or life imprisonment without parole.
He is currently Mathews held at the Dallas County jail on a $1 million bond. The 37-year-old has also been charged with abandoning a child, endangering her life and tampering with evidence.
"We can't go into details, but based on that autopsy report, we were able to determine that we can seek capital murder for this case," the Press Trust of India quoted Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson as saying during a news conference.
"The evidence is still unfolding in this case. We don't want anything to jeopardize this case. We think that we have a great case, we plan to pursue this case vigorously, and we don't want anything to hamper it in any kind of way," Johnson added.
Sherin was earlier reported missing on October 7 but was found dead near her home on October 22. Wesley and wife Sini had adopted her from Bihar and the adoptive father had told the police that she had disappeared after he had reprimanded her for not drinking milk and asked her to stand outside the house near a tree at 3 am.
Baby Sherin is a beautiful angel who made a community to stand for humanity, love, and justice. I recreated one of her available images. She is adorable. Love you, Baby Sherin !!! @justice4sherin #SherinMathews @CBSDFW @wfaa @NBCDFW pic.twitter.com/jpnR5ALJSD— Jyothik Thankappan (@JyothikThanks) January 12, 2018
Wesley changed his story after the toddler's body was found and said that the child had died as she had choked on her milk. He had said that he "physically assisted (her) ... in drinking the milk."
When Wesley couldn't feel Sherin's pulse, he is said to have bundled up her body in a trash bag and drove a mile to dump her body in a culvert.
Meanwhile, the testimony from doctors details that Sherin showed several signs of abuse and Dr Susan Dakil testified that X-ray reports showed multiple fractures on Sherin arms and legs.
The Medical Examiner's office opened the doors to Wesley's trial after it said that Sherin had died of "homicidal violence." The court documents haven't given out the exact details yet, but have said that Wesley could have caused the 3-year-old's death using a deadly weapon "by a manner and means unknown to the grand jury," reported the Associated Press.
Sherin's adoptive mother Sini is also in jail and is being held on a $100,000 bond for child endangerment and abandoning after Wesley confessed that the rest of the family had gone out to dinner and left Sherin alone at home.