Sini Mathews, the Indian American adoptive mother of toddler Sherin Mathews who was found dead in a Richardson, Texas, culvert last month, was arrested Nov. 16 on felony child endangerment and abandonment charges.
According to an affidavit issued by the Richardson, Texas, Police Department, on Oct. 6 – the night before Sherin Mathews went missing – Sini and her husband, Wesley Mathews, along with their biological child, went out to dinner at a restaurant about five miles away from their home, leaving the little special needs toddler at home alone for over an hour and a half.
This placed “Sherin Mathews in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment,” wrote Det. J. Farmer, in Sini Mathews’ arrest warrant.
Sini Mathews is being held on $250,000 bail.
Using cell phone records, police confirmed that the Mathews went out to dinner that evening. An itemized receipt showed they had purchased only one child’s meal, in addition to the adults’ meals. A waiter at the restaurant who served the Mathews confirmed to police that only one child had been present.
Police were alerted to the situation when they Mirandized Wesley Mathews Oct. 23, a day after Sherin’s body was found about a mile away from the Mathews’ home. Wesley Mathews – who confessed that he watched Sherin choke on her milk around 3 a.m. Oct. 7 morning and then disposed of her dead body outside the home – has been charged with felony child endangerment and faces a life sentence. He is being held in Dallas County, Texas jail on $1 million bail.
After his arrest Oct. 23, Wesley Mathews confirmed to police that he and Sini Mathews had left Sherin at home alone while the rest of the family went out to eat dinner at a restaurant.
Wesley Mathews told police that Sherin was refusing to drink her milk. He became impatient and decided to take the family out to dinner, and said Sini voluntarily came along, without being threatened or coerced by him.
Officer Mike Wieczorek of the Richardson Police Department explained to India-West the delay in arresting Sini Mathews after Wesley Mathews’ Oct. 23 revelations. “In order to build a case against Sini Mathews, we had to get factual evidence. We had to subpoena cell phone records, bank statements, and other documents,” he said, noting that investigators were then able to obtain an arrest warrant from a court magistrate.
The investigation on the Mathews is still ongoing, said Wieczorek, noting that additional charges could be brought against Sini Mathews, who currently faces 180 days to two years in state prison.
There is currently no evidence to corroborate Wesley Mathews statement that Sherin was still alive when her family returned home. “This was purely based on what we were told by Wesley,” said the officer, noting that Mathews has previously changed his statement three times as to what happened on the night Sherin died.
Sherin was left alone in the kitchen of the Mathews home. The little girl was adopted 17 months ago from an orphanage in Nalanda, Bihar. She was laid to rest at a private funeral in Texas. Wesley Mathews and his biological daughter did not attend the service.
Sherin’s cause of death has not yet been established.
(See earlier India-West story here: http://bit.ly/2yTff73)