Law enforcement officials are searching for 3-year-old Sherin Mathews after her father allegedly forced her to stand outside in the middle of the night as punishment for not drinking her milk.
An amber alert was issued for the Richardon, Texas-based toddler when she went missing over the weekend after being ordered by father 37-year-old Wesley Mathews to stand next to a tree, behind the fence at their Richardson home at approximately 3 a.m. A report from The Associated Press reveals that the tree was across an alley from the home.
When Mathews went outside 15 minutes later to check on her, Sherin was gone, though Mathews didn’t notify police that she was missing until almost five hours later.
Sgt. Kevin Perlich told ABC that his response was “concerning,” saying also “that does not seem like a normal response that one would do if you have a missing child.”
According to a police statement posted on the Richardson Police Department Facebook Page, Sherin suffers from developmental issues and has limited verbal communication skills. She was last seen wearing a pink top, black pajama bottoms and pink flip flops.
An update on the Facebook page states that Mathews had been arrested and charged Sunday night with abandoning or endangering a child. The statement also said that the investigation into her whereabouts was ongoing. The Chronicle Herald reports that he was released on a $250,000 bond Sunday night.
Investigators have confiscated three vehicles, cellphones and laptops from the family to aid the investigation. NBC 5 News reports that Sherin’s older sister was removed from the home Monday and placed in protective custody as the investigation continues.
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While Child Protective Services told NBC that they’ve had contact with the family before, it would not release any “confidential” details. The Mathews family adopted the girl from an orphanage in India two years ago.