The mystery behind the death of three-year-old Sherin Mathews has a taken a new turn after police found her body. Wesley Mathews gave an entirely new statement after his arrest and said that the child choked on the milk and died on October 6 and he dumped the body 'believing she had died.'
However, from the beginning, he had maintained the stance that the girl was malnutritioned and had difficulty eating. However, the owner of the orphanage, from where the girl was adopted, has now said that the child had no such issues.
Investigators had said that Wesley Mathews had at first told them that he made the girl stand below a tree, about 100 meters from the house, at 3 am on October 7, as a punishment because she refused to drink milk. He said the child was missing when he went to check on her after 15 minutes.
Mathews told police the girl had been malnourished when she was adopted and needed to eat whenever she was awake to help her gain weight. But orphanage owner Babita Kumari told television station WFAA the girl had no problems and that Wesley and Sini Mathews appeared loving when they were going through the adoption process.
"The child had no problem at all when she was here, neither in drinking milk or eating," Kumari said.
A phone call to the international adoption agency believed to have helped the couple adopt Sherin was not returned on Wednesday.
Wesley Mathews was initially charged with endangering or abandoning a child after reporting the girl missing on Oct 7. He changed his story to police Monday, saying the girl choked on milk and died in the family's garage before he took her body away.
He was arrested and charged with felony injury to a child, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison. Mathews was transferred to the Dallas County jail yesterday, which is routine for inmates charged with higher-level felonies. The Dallas County Sheriff's Department said he had been placed on suicide watch.
A judge reviewed his bond and left it at $1 million. Mitch Nolte, an attorney for Sini Mathews, said in a written statement yesterday that she has submitted to several long interviews with police since Oct 7, and because she had nothing to do with the 'death or removal' of the child's body, her lawyers see no need for her to "endure further police interrogation.
(With inputs from PTI)