Toddler Sherin Mathews, who was found dead in Texas last Sunday, was not malnourished, according to the manager of the Indian orphanage where the 3-year-old resided before she was adopted.
Sherin's adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, initially told police that Sherin disappeared after he put her in an alleyway near their house at 3 a.m. on Oct. 7 for not drinking her milk. He told police he’d returned to check on her and she was gone.
Mathews, however, changed his story after Sherin's body was discovered. According to an arrest warrant, Mathews said he watched Sherin choke on milk and die inside their garage early on Oct. 7. He said he then removed her body from their Richardson home, according to his arrest warrant.
The father did not call police until five hours later, reports said.
Mathews, who has been charged with injury to a child, previously told police that the girl was malnourished and needed to eat at “odd hours,” but Babita Kumari, who managed the Mother Teresa Orphanage and Children's Home in the city of Nalanda in eastern India's Bihar state, said that isn’t the case.
"Look at the photos of the child. Does she look malnourished?" Kumari told the Associated Press. "I have so many questions about what happened to her.”
Kumari said that when Sherin left the orphanage in June 2016, she was eating solid food and drinking milk from a cup.
“Why did they have to make her eat or drink anything at that hour? Why was he forcing her?” Kumari asked. “If someone is [forcing] a drink into the mouth of someone who is crying and sobbing then even an adult can choke.”
Search dogs found Sherin's body last Sunday in a culvert beneath a road, less than a mile from the home.
A cause of death hasn't been determined.
“I will always want to know what happened to this child. What was the real reason she passed away,” Kumari said. “If we had known this would happen to her, we would never have sent her.”
Mathews, who was initially charged with child endangerment, is now being held on $1 million bond.