Texas investigators found the body of a small child after searching on Sunday for a 3-year-old girl who had been missing for more than two weeks, CNN reported.
Sherin Matthews had been reported missing on October 7 after she was allegedly sent to her backyard in the middle of the night by her father, Wesley Mathews, as punishment for not drinking milk.
The body, found in a conduit under a road, “is most likely” Sherin Mathews, a spokesman for the Richardson Police Department told reporters, though a medical examiner had not yet made an official identification. The cause of death has not been determined.
Wesley made Sherin stand by a tree 100 feet from their home at 3 a.m., he told investigators, even though he knew that coyotes had been seen nearby. Sherin has “developmental issues and has limited verbal communication skills,” according to police.
Fifteen minutes later, he went looking for Sherin, he claimed, but she was gone. He did not contact police until five hours later. At one point in those five hours before police were contacted, a vehicle belonging to the Mathews family drove away from the house, police claimed, not returning until an hour later.
Sherin’s mother, who has not been charged with a crime, claimed she was asleep during the incident.
Wesley Mathews was arrested on charges of abandoning or endangering a child, and is currently out on a $250,000 bond.
State Child Protective Services removed a 4-year-old child from the Mathews home following the incident.
[Image: Richardson Police Department]