Months before 3-year-old Sherin Mathews choked to death in the Dallas suburb of Richardson as her adopted father allegedly forced her to drink milk, a doctor contacted Child Protective Services to report the girl was possibly being abused, reports the Dallas Morning News. Speaking at a Wednesday custody hearing regarding Sini and Wesley Mathews' biological daughter, Dr. Suzanne Dakil said she examined Sherin in March and found her to have bone fractures in her arms and legs, and they were inconsistent with her parents' various explanations, including that her sister had pushed her off a couch. Dakil said she called CPS to warn of possible abuse by the parents who adopted the girl from India in 2016. Why no action was taken is now under investigation.
A day before Sherin is believed to have died, police say her parents left her home alone while they went to dinner with their biological daughter, also 3, who is now living with relatives. Sini Mathews is charged with abandoning or endangering a child based on that allegation. Wesley Mathews faces the more serious charge of felony injury to a child after police say he admitted Sherin died while he "physically assisted" her in drinking milk on Oct. 7. He later admitted to dumping her body in a culvert less than a mile from the family’s home, where she was found more than two weeks later, police say. The commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services tells WFAA that CPS could have done "a much better job," adding: "How this slipped through? We’re going to find out." (Read more child death stories.)