Sherin Mathews: US police find body in missing child case

Sherin Mathews Image copyright CBS News

Police in Texas say they have found a body in the search for three-year-old Sherin Mathews, who went missing on 7 October.

Her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, was arrested for child endangerment after telling police he had ordered her outside at 03:00 as punishment.

The Richardson police department said the remains were "most likely" Sherin's.

The girl was adopted from an Indian orphanage two years ago.

Police have not specified how she may have died.

The body was found in a tunnel about half a mile from her home on Sunday. The area is being "treated as a crime scene", police said.

An identification process is under way, the Press Trust of India news agency reports.

Image copyright Richardson police department/Facebook
Image caption The disappearance of the three-year-old sparked off a massive search

Police said they had "no reason" to believe the body was of any other child.

Wesley Mathews, 37, told police he had checked on Sherin about 15 minutes after allegedly sending her out of their home - only to find her gone.

He told the police he had returned to the house and "did a load of laundry" as he was not too worried.

About five hours later, after sunrise, he called the authorities to report her missing.

Mr Mathews told the police that his adopted daughter, who had developmental disabilities and limited vocabulary skills, had to be fed often as she was severely malnourished, and that he had acted out of "frustration" when she would not drink her milk.

He also said he had seen coyotes in the alley near where he told her to stand.

He has been released on bail and is subject to electronic tag monitoring. His passport has been confiscated as a condition of bail.

Sherin's mother was reportedly asleep when the incident took place and is not facing charges.

The couple have another four-year-old daughter, who was placed in foster care after the incident.

Police had previously told reporters that both parents had "stopped co-operating" with the investigation.

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