RICHARDSON (CBS 11 NEWS) - Overwhelmed with grief, strangers stood crying around the growing memorial behind Sherin Mathews' home.
More than two weeks after the 3-year-old seemed to have disappeared, dental records Tuesday helped identify her as the child found dead in a culvert over the weekend.
Richardson police say the little girl's adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, admitted to disposing of her body after he claims she died drinking a glass of milk in the family's garage.
Richardson police Sergeant Kevin Perlich recounted Mathews' new explanation about what happened to his daughter. "She really didn't want to drink that milk, and so he was physically assisting her with that milk, apparently to the point where she began to choke on that milk, lost consciousness and eventually expired," he said. "And, during that period of time Mr. Mathews never sought medical attention or called 911."
People who were drawn together in mourning for Sherin Tuesday night remain skeptical.
Resident Lindy Dang said, "His story keeps changing. I don't believe it. It doesn't make sense. Why wouldn't you call police if it were true?"
The Dallas County Medical Examiner has ordered toxicology tests of Sherin's remains, which could delay any ruling on her cause of death for months.
Unable to save Sherin, her supporters are now trying to honor her memory. "This story makes me love my kids more. Every time I see my daughter, I see this girl in her face," said Faeza Bedru, who has a 3-year-old of her own.
Wesley Mathews is in custody charged with Injury to a Child. He is being held on a $1 million bond.
Richardson police say they want to speak to Sherin's adoptive mother, Sini Mathews, who has yet to give her account of what happened the night her daughter died.
An attorney hired to represent Mrs. Mathews in any criminal defense matters said Wednesday he is no longer working for her.
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