A physician who had treated Sherin Mathews, the three-year-old girl whose body was found in a culvert last month after she went missing, testified that she had found several bone fractures on the girl.
Dr. Suzanne Dakil testified before the court on Wednesday in a custody hearing in which Wesley and Sini Mathews, the adoptive parents of Sherin Mathews, were seeking the custody of their three-year-old biological child who is staying with extended family in Houston area.
Dakil said she had suspected child abuse and informed the Child Protective Service about her concerns. She became involved with the family early this year when Sherin was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with “failure to thrive,” meaning she fell below the normal growth curve.
According to the doctor, Sherin had suffered elbow fracture in September 2016 which happened when her sister pushed her off the couch, according to the family.
Dakil testified that Sini had told her that Sherin slipped on the side and she had grabbed her. The skeletal survey conducted in February 2017 showed fractures in Sherin’s tibia, and femur and both were in different stages of healing.
This shows the girl was physically abused more than one time. Another skeletal survey that was done in March also showed further healing of fractures. This ruled out the arguments of Sini that the fracture happened when Sherin slipped on the side and the possibility of injuries related to her time in India.
When Dakil informed Sini about the results of the skeletal surveys, she responded with fewer questions than she had anticipated. Also, Sini didn’t approve Dakil’s decision to inform the CPS about the child’s condition based on the findings.
The couple, however, refused to answer the questions of the court, on Wednesday, as they invoked their fifth-amendment protection against self-incrimination.
The bond of Sini Mathews was reduced to $100000 this week by the court. The court has also required her to surrender her passport.
Sini Mathews was arrested this month after investigators said she and her husband left Sherin at home, without adult supervision, while they went to dinner with their three-year-old biological daughter on October 6.
The three-year-old girl from Texas went missing on October 7. Her adopted father, Wesley Mathews, had told police that he had made the girl stand in the back lane of their house at 3 a.m. as a punishment for not drinking milk. Mathews said when he went to check after 15 minutes, she was missing.
Upon investigation, Wesley Mathews changed his previous statement given to the police and said he watched the girl die as she choked while drinking milk in their home in Texas.
The Police and FBI are yet to find out the reason for the toddler’s death.