A little girl in Texas is missing after her adoptive father allegedly made her stand in an alley behind their home because she wouldn’t drink her milk.
The Richardson Police Department issued an Amber Alert on Saturday for 3-year-old Sherin Mathews after her father, Wesley Mathews, reported her missing.
Authorities say the Amber Alert timed out, because there has been no new information in the case, but the Amber Alert could be re-activated in the future.
The search is continuing for the child, who was reportedly last seen by her father, 37-year-old Wesley Mathews, at about 3 a.m. Saturday in the 900 block of Sunningdale in Richardson.
Her father allegedly told detectives he directed the girl to stand next to a tree behind the fence at their home after she wouldn’t drink her milk. The tree is across an alley from the home.
Mathews reportedly returned to get his daughter about 15 minutes later and discovered she was gone, according to an affidavit.
The man was arrested Saturday on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child, and he was released from jail Sunday night on a $250,000 bond.
Officials with Texas Child Protective Services removed the toddler’s 4-year-old sister from the family Monday and placed her in protective custody as police continue to search for the missing child.
CPS would only say they have had “contact” with the Mathews family before, but “details are confidential.”
Police said Wesley Mathews told detectives he knew coyotes were seen in the area where he left his daughter, but investigators say there’s no indication one may have dragged the girl away.
The father didn’t notify police that his daughter was missing until about five hours later, said police Sgt. Kevin Perlich, who added that the delay in reporting the matter “is certainly concerning to us.”
“That does not seem like a normal response that one would do if you have a missing child,” Perlich said.
Investigators have seized three vehicles, cellphones and laptops from the family in an effort to find out what became of Sherin, Perlich said. Footage from surveillance cameras in the area also is being reviewed.
A working phone number for Mathews could not be found and it’s not clear if he’s hired an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Meanwhile, members of Emmanuel Bible Chapel in Irving, where Sherin and her parents are members, printed fliers with the girl’s description and posted them in and around the Richland Meadows neighborhood over the weekend.
Joanna Cherian walked around to any post she could find and taped fliers one at a time.
“I can’t believe I have to do this right now,” she said in disbelief. “I never thought this day would come that the cutest baby in our church has gone missing.”
Church elder Jose Cherian was asked about the allegations surrounding the girl’s father.
“I can’t say anything about that,” he responded.
Cherian did speak about the girl’s mother, who police say is not facing any charges at this time.
“She’s very much worried and depressed,” he said.
Cherian made a public plea in case someone has the girl.
“If anyone have in possession baby Sherin, please bring back and report to police, to Richardson police. Those who, any of you who brings the baby God will bless you. God will reward you,” he said.
Sherin Mathews is described as 3 feet tall, weighing 22 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink top, black pajama bottoms and pink flip-flops.
Police said the toddler has “developmental issues and has limited verbal communication skills.” The Mathews family adopted the girl two years ago at an orphanage in India.
Sherin was malnourished when the couple took her in, and Mathews told investigators it wasn’t unusual for the girl to wake up late at night to eat so that her weight would increase, Perlich said. That may explain why she was punished at 3 a.m., he said. He said authorities are casting a broad net in determining what happened to the girl.
“We don’t have any other indication or evidence that she was forcibly abducted from that area,” he said.
Anyone with information about Sherin Mathews or her location is asked to contact the Richardson Police Department at 972-744-4800.
This is the tree where the little child was forced to stand at 3:00 am
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