DALLAS – The father of a 3-year-old girl adopted from an Indian orphanage was indicted on a capital murder charge Friday, almost three months after the girl’s body was found in a pit near their suburban Dallas home.
Wesley Mathews, 37, is jailed on a lesser charges in Dallas County since shortly after his daughter, Sherin, was found dead. Prosecutors said the murder charge, which could carry the death penalty, was filed after an autopsy determined the girl died of “homicidal violence.”
Mathews in the first instance, said that his daughter is missing after he sent her outside as a punishment for not drinking milk around 3 o’clock, Oct. 7. But after her body was found, he told the police that she had choked to death and that he her body away from the family’s home in Richardson, about 15 miles (24 km) north of Dallas.
The authorities have not said what they believe happened to the girl, and court documents to argue that Mathews caused the death of his daughter with a deadly weapon “by a manner and means unknown to the grand jury.”
“We have some information in terms of what might have happened, but we are still investigating,” the district Attorney, Faith Johnson, said during a Friday press conference, adding that her office had not decided whether it would seek the death penalty.
A phone message from the Associated Press seeking comment from Mathews’ attorney was not returned Friday.
The mother of the girl, Sini Mathews, have not yet been charged in the death, but is imprisoned on a separate child abandonment costs arising from when she and her husband left Sherin home alone — the day before the girl was missing. Her lawyer has previously said that they played no role in Sherin’s death.
Johnson said that the evidence in the case was still unfolding, but there was no indication that anyone outside of Sherin’s parents was involved in the death.
Wesley Mathews was also charged Friday on charges of leaving a child and tampering with evidence. He was first charged in late October with a felony injury to a child and his bond is set at $1 million.
He reported his daughter missing on Oct. 7, sparking a wide search with numerous law enforcement agencies before her body was found on Oct. 22. The local police chief said it is an intense case, for they are officials.
“There is almost no worker in the Richardson Police Department who was not involved in this case,” the Police Jimmy Spivey said Friday. “I am pleased that we are in a place where we can bring justice for this child.”
In his first report to the police, Wesley Mathews said he waited a few hours and a report of the girl missing and had done, was that he was waiting for her to come home. He told investigators the girl had developmental disabilities and was malnourished.
He described a special diet regime in which they had to eat when she was awake in order to gain weight. Workers in the orphanage, where the girl lived before her adoption in June 2016, disputed the child was malnourished.
Weeks later, when a dog search found the girl body in a tube that runs under a roadway, Mathews came to the police station in Richardson to change his account. According to court records, he told the police that he had helped the girl drink milk if they are choked, and when he finally felt no pulse, he believed that the child had died. Researchers wrote that he “admitted to removing the body of the house.”
The statement does not say whether Mathews administered any medical help for his daughter.
Associated Press writer Claudia Lauer contributed to this report from Dallas.