Sherin Mathews was reported missing after her father allegedly left her outside to punish her for not drinking her milk

By Steve Helling
October 24, 2017 04:23 PM

Texas police have definitively identified a child’s body found in a drain in Richardson as a 3-year-old girl who went missing earlier this month after her father allegedly left her outside as punishment.

Sherin Mathews’ body was found in a culvert at around 11 a.m. on Sunday. The remains were identified on Tuesday afternoon using dental records. A cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Sherin vanished on Oct. 7. Her father, 37-year-old Wesley Mathews, was arrested in connection with the disappearance after he allegedly told police that he made her stand next to a tree across an alley from their Richardson home at around 3 a.m. because she refused to drink her milk, the Associated Press reported.

Mathews, who adopted Sherin, said he went to check on the toddler about 15 minutes later but she was gone, according to the AP. He reported her missing about five hours later.

Also on Tuesday, police released an arrest warrant that seems to indicate that Wesley Mathews’ story allegedly has changed.

According to the affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, Wesley Matthews told police that he watched his daughter choke on milk and die. After her death, he says, he removed her from the home.

The affidavit says that Matthews was “trying to get the 3 year old girl to drink her milk in the garage….Wesley Mathews said she wouldn’t listen to him.” Mathews then allegedly stated that he “physically assisted” her in drinking her milk, and the girl choked.”

“She was coughing and her breathing slowed,” the statement claims. “Eventually, Wesley Mathews no longer felt a pulse on the child and believed she had died.”

Credit: Richardson Police Department

Mathews was initially arrested and charged with abandoning or endangering a child. After his story allegedly changed, he was charged with injury to a child.

He has neither entered a plea nor appeared in court. His attorney, Rafael De La Garza, has not responded to requests for comment from PEOPLE.

Texas Child Protective Services took a 4-year-old from the home days after the incident. A CPS spokesperson has told the Associated Press that the agency has had contact with the family in the past.