Orphanage Owner Denies Claim Dead Girl Had Eating Trouble

Police say Wesley Mathews claimed his daughter Sherin was malnourished
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2017 1:26 PM CDT
Dad Charged in Girl's Death Put on Suicide Watch
Wesley Mathews is escorted by police during his transfer to Dallas County Jail in Dallas on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Texas father charged in the death of his 3-year-old adopted daughter has been placed on suicide watch in a Dallas County jail, the Houston Chronicle reports. Police say 37-year-old Wesley Mathews originally told them his daughter Sherin disappeared at 3am Oct. 7 after he put her outside for refusing to drink her milk. Police say he later changed his story, saying she choked on the milk while he "physically assisted" her in drinking it. A Dallas County Sheriff's Department spokesperson says Mathews has been put in his own cell and placed on suicide watch due to the nature of his crime and the media attention it's gotten. "The other inmates don't like to be around those individuals," Melinda Urbina says.

Meanwhile, police say Mathews claimed Sherin was malnourished after he and his wife adopted her from an orphanage in India last year and that she needed to eat whenever she was awake. But the owner of the now-closed orphanage tells the AP that wasn't the case. Babitha Kumari says Sherin had no problem eating or drinking milk prior to her adoption. Sherin's body was found in a culvert Sunday. Mathews was arrested Monday and charged with felony injury to a child (the Dallas Morning News explains why he wasn't charged with murder) and faces up to life in prison. In a statement, an attorney for Mathews' wife, Sini, says she has been interviewed by police, and since she had nothing to do with the "death or removal" of Sherin, there's no reason for her to "endure further police interrogation." (More child death stories.)

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