An FBI Evidence Response team is now at the home of the missing Richardson 3-year-old girl.
Sherin Mathews has been missing since Saturday morning.
The FBI Evidence Response team arrived at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, about 30 minutes after Richardson police knocked on the door with a search warrant. The team could be seen combing for clues in the front and back yards.
Richardson police would not elaborate on what prompted the search only saying it is where the “natural progression of the investigation” led them.
Police confirm Sherin is still considered missing and said no arrests have been made.
A criminal defense attorney spent about an hour at the home late Tuesday afternoon, but left without answering questions from the media.
Meanwhile, Richardson police are providing a more detailed timeline of the disappearance of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews and the time that elapsed before she was reported missing by her father.
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.
An Amber Alert was discontinued Monday afternoon, because there has been no new information in the case, but authorities said the alert could be re-activated in the future.
The girl’s 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 and about 100 feet away from the home.
Mathews reportedly returned to get his daughter about 15 minutes later and discovered she was gone, according to an affidavit. He reportedly set out to try and find his daughter, to no avail.
He then went inside his home, hoping she would return on her own, according to police Sgt. Kevin Perlich.
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Mathews then did a load of laundry, according to Perlich, and wanted to wait for daylight to search for her again.
The father didn’t notify police that his daughter was missing for about five hours, Sgt. Perlich said, 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.
Police say the girl’s mother was reportedly asleep during the entire incident.
The girl’s father 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.
The girl’s mother is not facing charges at this time.
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 search for the girl has expanded beyond the neighborhood and include making contact with sex offenders in the area and businesses that could potentially have useful surveillance video.
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.
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.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Philip Mathew, Sherin Mathews’s great-uncle.
Mathew and others arrived at the family’s home on Monday evening, but no one answered the door.
Mathew insists the girl’s parents are good people.
“They’re nice people. The parents are believers in Christ,” he said.
A working phone number for Wesley 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.
Anyone with information about Sherin Mathews or her location is asked to contact the Richardson Police Department at 972-744-4800.
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