Texas man charged with capital murder in death of adopted daughter

Sherin Mathews

The father of the three-year-old Indian girl found dead in a culvert in Texas, has been charged with capital murder by a grand jury, the Dallas District Attorney said in a statement on Friday.

Wesley Mathews came under suspicion by authorities after he changed the story surrounding Sherin's disappearance and death several times.

Prosecutors said the capital murder charge, which could carry the death penalty, was filed after an autopsy determined his daughter died from 'homicidal violence'.

Wesley Mathews first told cops he made Sherin stand next to a tree at 3 a.m.as punishment for not drinking her milk. He was initially charged in late October with felony injury to a child and his bond was set at $1 million.

If convicted on the capital murder charge, Wesley Mathews faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole. "We are committed to continue our diligent and steadfast efforts to seek justice on their behalf".

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

The medical examiner ruled Sherin Mathews' death a homicide but could not determine exactly how she died.

He reported his daughter missing on October 7, sparking a broad search involving numerous law enforcement agencies before her body was found on October 22. He told a detective that he had been trying to get Sherin to drink her milk in the garage, and she wouldn't listen to him, the affidavit states.

The girl's mother, Sini Mathews, hasn't been charged in the death but is jailed on a separate child abandonment charge stemming from when she and her husband left Sherin home alone - the day before the girl was reported missing.

"Wesley Mathews...physically assisted the 3-year-old girl in drinking the milk", an arrest affidavit said. She was coughing and her breathing slowed.

The child, Sherin Mathews, disappeared in early October, sparking a broad search involving numerous law enforcement agencies before her body was found later that month.

The adoptive father admitted to police that he disposed of the child's body after she choked on her milk, according to a probable cause affidavit released.

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