Note: This story been changed to accurately reflect the judge's ruling.
The state doesn't have to help the adoptive parents of Sherin Mathews -- the 3-year-old Richardson girl who was found dead in a culvert last month -- reunite with their biological daughter, a judge ruled Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Wesley and Sini Mathews' biological daughter is 4 and has been living with relatives in Houston. The Mathews were ordered not to have contact with the girl.
CPS typically tries to put families back together.
Next would be a trial to sever the Mathewses' parental rights to their biological daughter, CBS-11 reported.
Wesley Mathews, Sherin's adoptive father, held Sherin as she died after choking on milk in October, and then put her in the back of his car with a bag of trash, a detective testified at Tuesday's hearing, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Sherin was later found dead in a culvert near the Mathews' home in Richardson, north of Dallas.
Wesley Mathews has been charged with injury to a child, a first-degree felony.
Sini Mathews, Sherin's adoptive mother, has been charged with child abandonment or endangerment, accused of leaving Sherin alone at home the night before she was reported missing.
Wesley Mathews had told police that his wife was asleep when, according to court documents, he “physically assisted” Sherin in drinking the milk that she had initially refused.
He said the girl began choking and coughing and that her breathing eventually slowed. He said when he didn’t feel a pulse, he believed she had died and removed her body from the home.
Wesley Mathews initially reported to police that his adopted daughter had disappeared after he placed her outside in an alley around 3 a.m. as discipline for not drinking her milk.
As police launched an extensive search for the girl, Wesley Mathews was arrested for endangering a child and released on bond. But Mathews changed his story on Oct. 23, one day after his daughter’s body was found in a ditch drain under Spring Valley and Bowser roads, less than a mile from the Mathewses' home.
This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives