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Autopsy report of Sherin Mathews handed over to attorneys of foster parents

Press trust of India, Houston, Jan 3 2018, 18:13 IST
Sherin Mathews, image courtesy Twitter

Sherin Mathews, image courtesy Twitter

The much-awaited autopsy report of Sherin Mathews is out and the attorneys for the adoptive Indian-American couple of the toddler have received it, a media report said today, nearly three months after the Indian girl went missing and was later found dead in a culvert in Dallas.

Three-year-old Sherin went missing on October 7. Her body was found on October 22 in a culvert by a cadaver dog after an intense search in Richardson city in suburban Dallas. Her body was identified days later.

Her foster father Wesley Mathews admitted to police that he removed Sherin's body from the home after changing his story multiple times on the events leading up to her death. The couple also left Sherin home alone the night before her disappearance, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Wesley, 37, is charged with injury to a child, while the adoptive mother, Sini, 35, is charged with abandoning or endangering a child. Both are currently lodged in a Dallas jail.

Attorneys for Sherin's adoptive parents have received a copy of the autopsy report for Sherin, WFAA TV station reported.

The attorney representing Sini Mathews said the report, received on Tuesday evening from the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, does not implicate her in Sherin's death.

"There is nothing in the autopsy results that indicate Sini Mathews had anything to do with the death of Sherin Mathews," Mitch Nolte told WFAA in a statement.

The report did not provide details of the autopsy conducted by Dallas Medical Examiner.

Nolte also did not provide more specific comments on the findings because he was not aware if the report had been made public, the report said.

During a hearing in late November, a doctor testified before a court that Sherin had broken bones and had injuries in various stages of healing, indicating abuse.

The news about the autopsy report on Sherin has reportedly been sent to the foster parents - Wesley and Sini - as they are expected to appear in court later today for a Child Protective Services (CPS) custody hearing for their 4- year-old biological daughter. She was removed from the home by CPS officials after Sherin went missing.

The couple can either forfeit their parental rights during today's hearing, or the court could decide a date for a civil trial to possibly terminate their rights, the report said.

Today's hearing would mark the third CPS hearing for the Indian-American adoptive parents of Sherin.

Last month, the couple, hailing from Kerala, temporarily lost their rights to see their biological child, who has been placed with a family member in the Houston area.

During the hearing, both Wesley and Sini pleaded the fifth amendment in court in response to pointed questions about their alleged involvement in Sherin's death to avoid self-incrimination.

Initially, Wesley told police that he put her outside their home at 3 a.m. to discipline her for not drinking her milk.

His story changed after her body was found in a culvert Richardson in suburban Dallas, telling police that he "physically assisted" with pouring the milk down Sherin's throat and then moved her body after he realised she had choked and died.

Meanwhile, a community group has thanked the Richardson Police Department for its ongoing investigation into Sherin's death.

A group made up of Richardson residents presented police with a plaque yesterday, thanking them for their response and hard work in the complex and high-profile case that had attracted international media attention.

Bill Allen, who lived near where Sherin's body was found, presented the special plaque to the police department. With his neighbours, they formed an informal group to express gratitude for all the investigators. They also dedicated a bench in Sherin's memory this past weekend, FOX4News.com reported.

"To have the community come together and come to us and acknowledge the good work that the men and women of this police department have done means so, so much to us," said Richardson Police Department Chief Jimmy Spivey.

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