Sini Mathews, Mom of Missing Texas Toddler Found Dead, Arrested on Child Endangerment Charge - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Sini Mathews, Mom of Missing Texas Toddler Found Dead, Arrested on Child Endangerment Charge

Police said Sini Mathews and her husband, Wesley Mathews, left their 3-year-old adopted child home alone hours before she was reported missing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Both of Sherin Mathews' parents are now in the Dallas County Jail. The 3-year-old was found dead in a culvert Oct. 22, two weeks after she was reported missing. (Published Friday, Nov. 17, 2017)

    What to Know

    • Police say mother's arrest is due to leaving the child home alone, not necessarily related to death investigation.

    • Child's body found two weeks after she was reported missing; father later said she choked on milk and he moved her body.

    • Couple's biological child remains in foster care; hearing set for Nov. 29 to determine custody.

    The mother of a North Texas toddler whose body was recovered last month from a drainage culvert weeks after she was reported missing was arrested Thursday on a charge of child endangerment.

    Police said she and her husband left their 3-year-old adopted child, Sherin Mathews, home alone while they went to dinner just hours before they claimed she had disappeared.

    Sini Ann Mathews, who has maintained her innocence in the death of Sherin, surrendered to Richardson police Thursday and is being held on $250,000 bond on the state jail felony charge.

    She was arraigned Friday morning and did not respond to reporters questions when she was transferred to the Dallas County Jail Friday afternoon.

    Sini Mathews ArraignedSini Mathews Arraigned

    Sini Mathews, the mother of a Texas toddler whose body was recovered last month from a drainage culvert weeks after she was reported missing, was arraigned Friday morning.

    (Published Friday, Nov. 17, 2017)

    In a statement Thursday, Richardson police said detectives learned Sini Mathews, 35, and Wesley Mathews took their 3-year-old biological daughter to dinner and left Sherin alone at home, placing her in "imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment."

    "The time that they left, she was not under the care of any other adult or of any other person, she was left home alone by herself and it's for that reason that you see this particular charge," said Kevin Perlich, with the Richardson Police Department. "It's not necessarily related to her death, it's related to her care that she was being given while she was in that home."

    Sini Mathews Arrested on Child Endangerment ChargeSini Mathews Arrested on Child Endangerment Charge

    The mother of a child whose body was recovered last month from a drainage culvert weeks after she was reported missing was arrested Thursday on a charge of child endangerment/abandonment.

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017)

    According to an arrest warrant affidavit, detectives used cell phone records to show Wesley and Sini went to a North Garland restaurant on the evening of Oct. 6. The theory is supported by a receipt obtained by police that showed the couple purchased only one child's meal in addition to their individual meals as well as the testimony of a waiter who said only one child was present at the table.

    During an interview with detectives, Wesley Mathews, 37, admitted to leaving Sherin home alone after growing frustrated she wouldn't drink her milk and said they returned home about 90 minutes later and found her where they left her, in the kitchen.

    Both Sini and Wesley told police the child was alive when they returned home from dinner, though police have not confirmed that information.

    Richardson Police Discuss Arrest of Sini MathewsRichardson Police Discuss Arrest of Sini Mathews

    Sini Mathews surrendered to Richardson police Thursday and was arrested on a charge of child endangerment/abandonment after police say she and her husband left their adopted daughter home alone while they went to dinner. Police say the charge is not related to the daughter's death investigation.

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017)

    Hours later, on the morning of Oct. 7, Wesley Mathews called police and reported Sherin missing. In a story he would later change, Wesley originally told police Sherin disappeared overnight after he ordered her to stand outside at about 3 a.m. for not drinking her milk. When he returned, Wesley said she had disappeared and that her location was unknown.

    Weeks later, Wesley Mathews changed his story and said he "physically assisted" her in drinking her milk and that she choked and died at the home. He said he then moved the girl's body and later called police to report her missing.

    Investigation Continues Into Sherin Mathews' DeathInvestigation Continues Into Sherin Mathews' Death

    The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office is still working to determine what killed Sherin Mathews.

    Sini Mathews said she was sleeping when Sherin disappeared and was unaware of what took place overnight between the child and her father.

    Meanwhile, Wesley Mathews remains jailed on a charge of felony injury to a child and is being held on a $1 million bond.

    Sini Mathews' attorney has maintained throughout the investigation she had nothing to do with her daughter's death and that she was distraught during her daughter's disappearance.

    NBC 5 confirmed Friday that at some point in the last month Sini Mathews was terminated from her job at Children's Medical Center in Dallas where she worked as a case manager.

    Sini Mathews Still Silent; Next Custody Hearing Set for Nov. 29Sini Mathews Still Silent; Next Custody Hearing Set for Nov. 29

    Sini Mathews remains silent as she is guided out of a courtroom Monday by her attorney Mitchell Nolte. The next custody hearing has been set for Nov. 29.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 13, 2017)

    On Thursday, her attorney Mitchell Nolte thanked Richardson police for allowing his client to surrender.

    "We learned this morning that the Richardson Police Department had obtained an arrest warrant for Sini Mathews for the offense of Abandoning/Endangering a Child. The police were professional and courteous and allowed us to bring Mrs. Mathews to the Police Department and surrender herself into custody," Nolte said in a statement.

    Wesley Mathews 'Loves His Children, His Wife, Is a Good Family Man': Attorney SaysWesley Mathews 'Loves His Children, His Wife, Is a Good Family Man': Attorney Says

    Attorney David Kleckner says Wesley Mathews loves his children and wants custody of their 4-year-old daughter returned to his wife. Kleckner said he's making arrangements for Wesley Mathews to attend the next CPS hearing on Nov. 29.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 13, 2017)

    Earlier this week, Wesley Mathews' attorney, David Kleckner, said his client loves his children and wife and that he's a good family man who wants custody of their surviving daughter to be returned to her mother.

    Sini Mathews was in court as recently as Monday asking for custody of the couple's child to be returned to her, but that hearing was rescheduled 1 p.m. Nov. 29. The couple's surviving child has been in foster care since shortly after her sister's disappearance. The child was expected to be placed in the care of family in the Houston area following Monday's hearing.

    Sini Mathews Arrest Warrant Affidavit

    NBC 5's Diana Zoga and Maria Guerrero contributed to this report. Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.

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