RICHARDSON, Texas (CBS11) – Death at the hands of another person is the ruling from the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office on Sherin Mathews, the toddler whose parents are in jail in connection with her disappearance and death.
Wednesday the Dallas County Medical Examiner confirmed homicidal violence is the official cause of the death for the 3-year-old.
“That means that that person didn’t die of any type of natural causes or anything like that,” said Richardson police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Perlich. “They died at the hand of another person.”
The medical examiner’s office isn’t releasing any additional details on her death, in part because her 22-pound body was so badly decomposed after being out in the elements for two weeks, found in a culvert less than a mile from her home. Dental records were used to identify her.
Another reason more isn’t being released is law enforcement. The Richardson Police Department has challenged CBS11’s public information request for the autopsy report, which is a public record. The department says it’s trying to keep as much information private until this case goes to trial. Perlich says the autopsy will be pivotal during the trial.
“Everybody wants physical evidence,” said Perlich. “I mean that’s the stuff that’s hard to lie. It is what it is. it speaks for itself, and the more physical evidence you can get, the better.”
Sherin Mathews’ dad, Wesley Mathews told police his adopted daughter died back on October 7 when she choked on milk.
Wesley admitted to being in the garage with her at 3:00 a.m and “physically assisting” her in drinking the milk. He told police she stopped breathing and didn’t seek medical attention, even from his wife Sini who is a nurse.
Both Sini and Wesley Mathews, who adopted Sherin from India, are in jail now.
Wesley’s lawyer has not returned our request for comment. He is charged with felony injury to a child. Sini’s attorney repeated the mom’s claim today she was not involved in Sherin’s death. She is charged with endangering a child after police say the parents left Sherin alone at their Richardson house while the entire family went to dinner the night before she died.
Sherin parents were supposed to have a custody hearing with CPS this morning for their 4-year-old biological daughter, but the hearing was pushed back for Jan. 26 at 9:00 a.m. That child was removed from the Mathews’ home after Sherin’s disappearance.