Dog found body of missing Texas toddler almost by chance
A team of volunteer search and rescue dog handlers who helped search for a missing North Texas toddler say the dog that helped find her caught a scent from a long distance and went to an area not scheduled to be searched.
The dog found the body of Sherin Mathews, 3, Sunday inside of a drain under a road.
Handler Jerry Seevers with MARK9 Search & Rescue told KXAS-TV in Fort Worth that the windy conditions after rain the night before were perfect for the dogs to catch a scent.
Her father, who first told police his adopted daughter disappeared after he made her stand outside for not drinking her milk later told an investigator the girl choked to death while drinking her milk.
Police arrested Wesley Mathews, 37, Monday afternoon on a warrant charging injury to a child after he told an investigator that “he had been trying to get the 3-year-old girl to drink her milk in the garage” of the family’s home, a police affidavit says.
“Eventually the 3-year-old girl began to drink the milk,” the affidavit says. “Wesley Mathews then physically assisted the 3-year-old girl in drinking the milk.”
The girl began to choke, coughed and her breathing slowed, the affidavit says.
“Eventually Wesley Mathews no longer felt a pulse on the child and believed she had died,” the affidavit said.
He “then admitted to removing the body from the home.”
Mathews is held in lieu of $1 million bond.
He originally told authorities he ordered the child to stand next to a tree behind the fence at their home around 3 a.m. on Oct. 7 as punishment for not drinking her milk and she went missing.
He was charged earlier with child endangerment.
The missing girl’s 4-year-old sister will remain in foster care for at least three more weeks after a Dallas County judge postponed a custody hearing until Nov. 13 to allow the girls’ father to hire an attorney.
Police have said that Mathews and his wife adopted Sherin from India.
The 4-year-old is their biological daughter.