The Indian American toddler has been missing since October 7.
By Jose Plackatt
(This post has been updated.)
RICHARDSON, Texas: The body of a toddler, which appears to be of three-year-old Indian American Sherin Mathews, missing since October 7, has been found from a culvert near her home here.
Law enforcement officials recovered the body from a narrow 75-foot long culvert, underneath a road near a railway track.
The body was discovered by search dogs around 11 am Sunday morning less than a mile away from the home of Richardson couple Sini and Wesley Mathews, who adopted Sherin in June 2016.
Police have not confirmed the body is that of Sherin Mathews. However, Sgt. Kevin Perlich said, “The indications are that it is most likely her, however, we have not had positive ID. So until we have a positive identification we are not going to say it is Sherin.”
The body will be identified and the cause of death determined by a medical examiner.
Perlich added that police received “more and more” leads during the investigation and “we followed up on that.”
“It led to the search of that area with canines, and that’s how we came across the body,” he was quoted as saying by the local Dallas Morning News.
The area where the body was found has been declared a crime scene and has been blocked off.
Sherin had developmental disability and was malnourished, according to her parents.
Wesley Mathews reported to police that the three-year-old went missing after he punished her by sending her out of the house for not drinking milk around 3 am on October 7.
The dad told police that he looked for the girl 15 minutes after he locked her out of home, but she was missing by then.
Wesley Mathews was arrested and charged with child endangerment. He is currently out on bail.
Sini Mathews, who told police that she was sleeping when the child was sent out, has not been charged.
Following the incident, the Child Protective Services has taken custody of the biological child of the couple.
A hearing on the custody of the four-year-old biological child was scheduled to be held Monday. But following the new development, it is not sure whether it will take place.
The Indian American couple adopted Sherin the Mother Teresa Anath Seva Sansthan in Bihar, India.