Wesley Mathews, the foster father of Sherin Mathews, told the police that his daughter choked on milk on the night of October 6 and he dumped her body "believing she had died", it has now emerged.
The 37-year-old's confession came after the police found the body of a small child in a culvert near the Mathews' residence in Richardson, Texas. Dental records later confirmed the body to be 3-year-old Sherin. Autopsy results that will determine the cause of death are pending.
Wesley was then re-arrested and charged with first-degree felony injury to a child. He had previously claimed that Sherin went missing after he sent her outside their home at around 3 am on October 7 as a punishment for not drinking her milk.
The arrest warrant details the "conflicting story" that led to Wesley's arrest. It states that the accused told police that his daughter choked on milk in the wee hours of October 7 and he "believed she had died".
Wesley said he "physically assisted" Sherin in drinking her milk when she wouldn't listen to him. "She was coughing and her breathing slowed," the warrant reads. "Eventually, Wesley Mathews no longer felt a pulse on the child and believed she had died."
The accused then admitted to the police that he removed Sherin's body from the home in the family's SUV, according to the warrant. Wesley's wife Sini Mathews was in the house at the time but was reportedly asleep and unaware of what her husband was doing.
However, it begs the question why Wesley didn't wake up his Sini, who is a nurse by profession, when Sherin was choking. Or call her even afterwards whether to confirm she is dead or not, if it was an accident. Instead, Wesley decided to do some laundry and dump the body himself before his wife woke up.
The FBI had seized dozens of items from the family's home and their vehicles between October 8 and 12, including a washing machine, vacuum cleaner and DNA swabs.
Sherin, who has developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills, was adopted by Wesley and Sini from an orphanage in Nalanda, Bihar around two years ago. The couple also has a 4-year-old biological daughter, who was removed from the home by Child Protection Services (CPS) after Sherin was reported missing.