DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – During a custody hearing Wednesday, a child abuse specialist testified that 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, who was found dead in a culvert in Richardson, showed signs of abuse.

(credit: Richardson Police Department)

The specialist testified that the 3-year-old had a series of broken bones and injuries in various stages of healing that could not have happened prior to her adoption.

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The testimony came during a custody hearing for Sherin’s sister, who is currently with relatives.

Sherin’s adoptive parents Sini and Wesley Mathews lost custody of their biological child after Sherin went missing in October. Her body was later found in a culvert near her home.

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

At times, the custody hearing felt like a criminal court proceeding with both Sini and Wesley repeatedly taking the Fifth when asked about what happened to their daughter, Sherin.

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Their lawyers said that was at their direction, and they will worry later about the message that may send to the public and potential jurors.

None of the attorneys would address the accusations of child abuse and continue to insist that the Mathews’ are good parents and should not be stripped of their parental rights to their surviving daughter.

The child abuse specialist’s testimony was interrupted, but she will be back on the stand when the hearing resumes December 5.

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Sini Mathews, who is behind bars on child endangerment charges, had her bond reduced from $250,000 to $100,000 on Monday.