The 3-year-old Texas girl whose body was found in a culvert near her home in October after her adopted father told police she disappeared one early morning in October died from “homicidal violence,” an autopsy found.
Sherin Mathew’s exact cause of death couldn’t be determined due to extensive decomposition of her body, Fox 4 reported, citing the Dallas County medical examiner’s office.
Sherin was adopted by Wesley and Sini Mathews in June 2016 from an orphanage in India. Wesley reported Sherin — who was malnourished and had developmental disabilities — missing on Oct. 7, initially claiming he sent her outside alone at night as punishment for not drinking her milk.
He later admitted to investigators that he and Sherin were in the garage when he tried to get her to drink her milk. The girl began to drink it on her own before Wesley “physically assisted” her — leading Sherin to choke, according to an arrest affidavit.
Wesley told police he eventually no longer felt a pulse on Sherin, believed she died, and “admitted to removing the body from the home.”
Sherin’s body was found on Oct. 22 in a drainage ditch following a broad search involving a number of law enforcement agencies.
A doctor reportedly informed Child Protectives Services in March 2017 she found several of Sherin’s bones fractured. Sini told the doctor she had brittle bones from her the poor diet she had in India, which the doctor determined was not true, and that the fractures formed after she moved away from India.
Both parents are being held at the Dallas County jail. Wesley is held on a $1 million bond and faces a charge of felony injury to a child, and Sini has a bond of $250,000 on a charge of abandoning a child.
An attorney for Sini Mathews told Fox 4 he’s seen a copy of the autopsy report and doesn’t believe it implicates his client in Sherin’s death.
Child Protective Services is reportedly trying to terminate the Mathews’ parental rights for their 4-year-old biological daughter, while a judge already took away their visitation rights.
A grand jury is expected later this month to review the charges filed against Sherin’s adoptive parents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.