Texas authorities believe they have found the body of a 3-year-old girl who disappeared after she was put out of her home earlier this month.
Sherin Mathews, who had a developmental disability, vanished in the early hours of Oct. 7. after her father, Wesley Matthews, placed her outside of her home in an alleyway at 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk.
When Mathews checked on Sherin 15 minutes later, she was gone, the father told police.
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 the toddler, reports said.
While a medical examiner has yet to see the child's body and make a positive identification, police said "It is most likely" Sherin Mathews."
The location where the body was found is close to the Mathews’ home, the Dallas News reported.
During their investigation, police found that someone had driven the family’s SUV away from the home and returned an hour later on the morning that Sherin went missing.
The family did not contact police until five hours after the 3-year-old disappeared, authorities said. Police then issued an Amber alert for Sherin. Officers said they and other volunteers went door-to-door searching for the young girl, to no avail.
Law enforcement has since searched the Mathews’ home and taken a number of items, including a vacuum cleaner, trash bags, hair fibers, cell phones and laptops, police said.
Police have also taken DNA swabs, receipts, grass and other debris from three vehicles belonging to the Mathews family, according to reports.
Police initially charged Mathews with child endangerment and he was released on bond, reports said.