The foster father of three-year-old Sherin Mathews, Wesley, has been arrested after he changed his narrative of how the incidents unfolded on the day she disappeared. Mathews has been charged with first-degree felony injury to a child -- a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment.
Sherin, who was adopted from India last year, was reported missing by Mathews on October 7. He had told police that he had ordered her to stand near a tree outside of their home at about 3 am as punishment for not drinking her milk, and that she was gone when he went to check on her about 15 minutes later. He waited for five hours before reporting her missing.
Richardson police said that Mathews provided "an alternate statement of events" about Sherin, just hours after the body of a small child was found on Monday.
Richardson police Sergeant Kevin Perlich said that a bond has been set at $1 million. Police did not provide details about how Mathews had changed his narrative of the incident.
Police are currently waiting for confirmation that a body of a child which was found over the weekend was that of the missing child or not.
On Monday, Perlich said that investigators had no reason to believe that the body of a child was not of Sherlin. Reports state that the body was found in a culvert near Spring Valley and Bowser roads on Sunday morning. The area is less than a mile from the Mathews' home.
Wesley earlier arrested on charges of child abandonment and endangerment after Sherin was reported missing. Mathews was later released on bail.
Reports state that Sherin's four-year-old sister has been taken into custody by child protective services and placed in foster care.
According to police affidavits, Sherin's father told investigators that he searched for her after he sent her outside into the alley but she was nowhere to be found. The affidavit mentioned that the father was not too worried and did a load of laundry and waited until after sunrise to report her disappearance to police.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and detectives combed Mathew's house last week and announced that someone had left in the family's SUV at around 4 am on the day the child disappeared and came back within an hour. Sherin's mother has not been charged as she was asleep when the incident occurred, according to police.
Investigators have asked neighbours and area businesses to check their video surveillance cameras for any footage of a maroon Acura SUV owned by the Mathews family on the day of the incident.
Mathews reportedly told police that Sherin was developmentally disabled and malnourished when he and his wife adopted her and that they had to put her on a special diet which required feeding her whenever she was awake, which also included in the middle of the night.
Indian Embassy officials in the US and the Indian Consulate in Houston on Monday tweeted that they are in contact with police regarding the investigation and are actively helping the probe.