On the night before a 3-year-old Richardson girl allegedly choked to death on milk, her foster parents left her alone while they ate dinner with their biological daughter at a restaurant, police said.
On Thursday, Richardson police arrested Sherin Mathews' mother, Sini Mathews, on a warrant for endangering/abandoning a child.
Her husband, Wesley Mathews, has already been charged with injury to a child after confessing to police that he hid the girl's body away in a culvert, then reported her missing.
According to a police affidavit, Sini Mathews and her husband left Sherin at home while they went to dinner at a north Garland restaurant on the evening of Oct. 6.
Cellphone records show the couple were both at the restaurant, the affidavit said. A receipt showed only one child's meal was purchased that night and a waiter told police that only one child was present at the meal.
In an Oct. 23 interview, Wesley Mathews admitted the couple had left the 3-year-old home alone while they ate dinner.
"Wesley Mathews told detectives that Sherin Mathews was refusing to drink her milk and he grew impatient," the affidavit states.
Wesley Mathews told investigators he told his wife to come with him and their biological daughter to the restaurant and that she voluntarily complied. They left Sherin in the kitchen, he told police.
When they returned approximately an hour and a half later, the girl was still in the kitchen.
Abandoning or endangering a child is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail. Sini Mathews' bond was set at $250,000.
Her attorneys, Mitchell Nolte and Gregg Gibbs, previously released a statement saying their client had been cooperating with police since her husband reported the child missing Oct. 7. Since her husband’s arrest and confession, the attorneys said they see “no need for Mrs. Mathews to endure further police interrogation.”
“She had nothing to do with Sherin’s death or the removal of her body from the home,” their statement said. “Mrs. Mathews is trying to grieve for her lost daughter while still caring for remaining daughter. She is struggling to pick up the pieces of a shattered life. This will require her full focus and attention…”
Wesley Mathews had told police that his wife, Sini Mathews, was asleep when, according to court documents, he “physically assisted” his daughter 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 on the girl, 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. for 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 inside a ditch drain under Spring Valley and Bowser roads, less than a mile from her home.
He has since been arrested again and charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury, a first degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison. He is being held in the Dallas County Jail with bail set at $1 million.