Authorities in Dallas are reporting that the investigation for a missing toddler is being affected by her uncooperative parents. According to CBS News, 3-year-old Sherin Mathews went missing after being asked to stand next to a tree at around 3:00am Saturday as punishment for not drinking milk. When her adoptive father, 37-year-old Wesley Mathews, went to check on her, she was gone.
The father (pictured below in his mugshot) didn't notify police that his daughter was missing until about five hours later," said Sgt. Kevin Perlich. He says the delay in reporting the matter "is certainly concerning to us." Perlich adds that this behavior is not normal for a parent worried about his missing child. "That does not seem like a normal response that one would do if you have a missing child."
Mathews was arrested Saturday on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child. He posted bond late Sunday and is required to wear an ankle monitor.
Authorities add that the girl's adoptive mother—who has not been charged with a crime—has not been helpful either. Her lawyer says she doesn't have information. "She does not know the whereabouts and all she wants is for her daughter to be returned."
The child was adopted from India. According to the mother's lawyer, she was malnourished and the couple worked to help her. Initially, Mathews had said that coyotes have been seen in the alley where the girl was being punished. Authorities say that there's no indication that the animals took the girl.
State Child Protective Services (CPS) also removed a 4-year-old from the home on Monday. A CPS spokeswoman said the agency has dealt with the family before but did not add further information.
[Photo: Family photo, Dept of Corrections]