A Dallas man has been arrested after his 3-year-old adopted daughter went missing.
Wesley Mathews told police he had sent 3-year-old Sherin Mathews to stand next to a tree behind the fence of their home at around 3 a.m. on Oct. 7, Dallas News reported. Wesley said he did so to discipline the child for not drinking her milk.
Police found a child's body in a culvert located less than one mile from Wesley's home on Oct. 22. Law enforcement officials had been using dogs to search for Sherin before finding her body.
Wesley told authorities at the time that coyotes had been spotted in the alley where he last left his daughter, WFAA reported. He said he had left to attend to the laundry, and waited for either dawn or for the girl to return into the home on her own.
After 15 minutes passed, Wesley went to check on Sherin, but couldn't find her, according to a police affidavit. Sini Matthews, the child's mother, was reportedly sleeping at the time and was unaware of what was happening.
Sergeant Kevin Perlich said police were not called until five hours after Sherin was last seen. Wesley is now facing charges of abandoning or endangering a child. He has since posted bond and was released from jail. He is required to wear a monitoring device, and was forced to surrender his passport.
Police have not yet officially identified the body they found on Oct. 22. However, Perlich said the body could very well be Sherin's.
"The indications are that it is most likely her, however, we have not had positive ID," Perlich told Dallas News. "So until we have a positive identification we are not going to say it is Sherin."
"As the investigation continued to unfold, more and more stuff came to [the] surface and we followed up on that," Perlich continued. "It led to the search of that area with canines, and that's how we came across the body."
The Mathews couple had adopted Sherin from an Indian orphanage. Police said the child had developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills. Details as to how she died have yet to be determined.
Child Protective Services has since contacted the family and took custody of Sherin's 4-year-old sister. She has been placed in foster care, according to agency spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.
Either Wesley or Sini will appear in court for a custody hearing on Oct. 23.