USA Today:-Texas authorities say they located a child’s body Sunday in the area where 3-year-old Sherin Mathews had been reported missing after her father ordered her to stand outside in the middle of the night as punishment for not drinking her milk.
The Richardson Police Department made the announcement at a press conference today, but say it’s too early to identify if the child’s body is Mathews. Police say it’s not clear how the child died.
The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the body found Sunday was less than a mile from where the toddler’s family lives.
An AMBER Alert was first issued for Mathews when she went missing Oct. 7 in Richardson, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas. It was eventually canceled because of a lack of progress, but the investigation continued.
The young girl — who has developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills — was last seen by her father, Wesley Mathews, wearing a pink top and black pajama bottoms two weeks ago.
Wesley Mathews told authorities he took his daughter outside at 3 a.m. CT Saturday to teach her a lesson for not drinking her milk.
The 37-year-old told officers he asked his daughter to stand by a large tree behind a fence in the backyard, according police records. The tree is across an alley near the home, which backs railroad tracks.
When Mathews went outside 15 minutes later to check on the toddler, she was gone.
Mathews returned to the home and did some household chores after looking for her, in hopes she would return on her own.
“While he was waiting he did a little laundry and hoped that the light would come around and he could do a better check,” Richardson Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich said.
Wesley Mathews alerted authorities of his daughter’s disappearance five hours later, according to police who called the delay “concerning.”