A 3-year-old Texas girl is missing after her father allegedly left her outside at 3 a.m. on Saturday to punish her for not drinking her milk, reports say.
Sherin Mathews has been missing since Saturday and her father, 37-year-old Wesley Mathews, has been arrested in connection with her disappearance, a Richardson Police Department spokesperson confirms to PEOPLE.
Mathews allegedly told police that he ordered Sherin outside in the early morning hours, telling her to stand next to a tree across an alley from their Richardson home, the Associated Press reports, citing an arrest affidavit. When he allegedly went to check on the toddler about 15 minutes later, Sherin was gone, according to the AP.
Little Sherin was last seen wearing black pajama bottoms, pink flip flops and a pink shirt, police said in a statement. Officials noted that the toddler suffers from developmental issues and has “limited verbal communication skills,” according to the Dallas Morning News.
Sgt. Kevin Perlich told the AP that Mathews, who adopted Sherin, didn’t report the child missing for about five hours after she disappeared.
“That does not seem like a normal response that one would do if you have a missing child,” Perlich said.
According to NBC-DFW, Mathews allegedly went back inside the house to do laundry and waited for the child to return on her own.
Mathews was arrested Saturday night and charged with abandoning or endangering a child.
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“This charge was a result of his decision to place her outside a place of safety, which Mathews described to officers as being unsafe and contributing to her disappearance,” police continued in the statement.
Mathews was later released on bond, the spokesperson says. Police announced in the statement that he was freed on $250,000 bail.
Texas Child Protective Services had taken a 4-year-old from the home Monday morning, Perlich added to the publication. A CPS spokesperson told the site that the agency has had contact with the family in the past.