January 03, 2018 12:43 PM

Sherin Mathews, the 3-year-old Texas girl whose body was found in a drain in late October and whose parents have been charged in connection with the case, died from “homicidal violence,” PEOPLE learns.

Steven Kurtz, a spokesman for the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office, tells PEOPLE that an autopsy of the toddler’s remains confirms her death was “homicide.”

Kurtz could not provide additional details about the child’s death, because by the time the body was found in a culvert on Oct. 22, 2017, it was in an advanced state of decomposition.

Authorities allege Sini Mathews and her husband, Wesley Mathews, left their adoptive daughter Sherin alone on the evening of Oct. 6, 2017, to take their 3-year-old biological daughter out to dinner.

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The little girl was adopted from India in 2016.

Wesley Mathews was arrested on Oct. 7, 2017, after allegedly telling investigators he punished Sherin for not drinking her milk by leaving her to stand next to a tree outside their Richardson home.

He allegedly told police he placed her near the tree at around 3 a.m.

Sherin Mathews
Richardson Police Department

Mathews allegedly said he went to check on the toddler about 15 minutes later but she was gone. She was reported missing 5 hours later.

He later allegedly changed his story, telling police he watched his daughter choke on milk and die, according to an arrest affidavit previously obtained by PEOPLE. After her death, he says, he removed her from the home.

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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.”

Wesley Mathews, 37, has been charged with felony injury to a child.

Sini Mathews, 35, was arrested weeks later, and charged with abandoning or endangering a child.

Both are still in custody and due in court today, where they are expected to enter pleas to the charges against them. PEOPLE has been unable to reach either of their attorneys for comment on the case.

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