Body of Sherin Mathews, 3-year-old Texas girl missing for weeks, believed found, police say

Authorities in Richardson, Texas, said Sunday they believe they have found the body of Sherin Mathews, the adopted 3-year-old girl who disappeared in the early hours of Oct. 7.

The Richardson Police Department said investigators discovered a body around 11 a.m. Sunday in a culvert beneath a road and believe it to be Mathews; however, police won’t identify the body until there is a positive identification by proper officials. 

The location where the body was found is close to the Mathews’ home, according to Dallas News.

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Mathews, who has a developmental disability, vanished two weeks ago after her father, Wesley Mathews, left her outside at 3 a.m. in an alleyway — allegedly frequented by coyotes — because she didn’t drink her milk.

Wesley, 37, said when he checked on her 15 minutes later, she was gone. He didn’t call police until five hours had passed.

Sherin's father reportedly did laundry while Sherin was missing, while Sherin's mother, Sini, said she was asleep during the ordeal. 

In this Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 photo provided by the Richardson Texas Police Department, Wesley Mathews is shown. Mathews was arrested Saturday on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child. Authorities were searching Monday for the 3-year-old suburban Dallas girl after she went missing over the weekend when her Mathews allegedly made her stand outside in the middle of the night as punishment for not drinking her milk. (Richardson Texas Police Department via AP)

Sherin Mathews' father, Wesley, reportedly did laundry between the time his daughter went missing and when he called police.  (Richardson Texas Police Department via AP)

Investigators found that on the morning Sherin went missing, someone had driven the family’s SUV away from their home in Richardson and didn’t return until an hour later. It was after the SUV returned that Wesley reported Sherin missing.

As they continued to investigate the 3-year-old’s disappearance, law enforcement had searched the Mathews’ home and took a number of items, including a vacuum cleaner, trash bags, hair fibers, cell phones and laptops.

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Attorney Bree West, a former Dallas County assistant district attorney who’s not involved in the case, said that while most of the items collected at the Mathews home were pretty standard, some confiscated items — a blue string, dark hair-like fibers, vacuum contents, two yellow gloves, dish scrubber inside two grocery bags and the washer and dryer — had stood out to her.

Police had also taken DNA swabs, receipts, grass and other debris from three vehicles belonging to the Mathews family. 

Wesley was charged with child endangerment but was reportedly released from jail on bond.

The Mathews had adopted Sherin in June 2016 after she was abandoned in her native country of India, the Dallas News reported.

Fox News' Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.