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Police Spend Day Searching Open Fields, Looking For Missing Toddler

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Members of the Richardson Police Department spent a good part of the day searching areas across Dallas County, looking for missing toddler Sherin Mathews.

Sherin Mathews
Sherin Mathews (credit: Facebook)

Chopper 11 was over a field in Dallas as some officers searched through trees and brush looking at areas where the earth had been raised and others spread out and did a grid search across open areas.

Richardson police Sergeant Kevin Perlich said officers would be doing various searches, in various places, based on leads and information that have been gathered in the course of the investigation.

Sherin Mathews disappeared from home last on October 7. Her adopted father, Wesley Mathews, told investigators he sent the little girl outside at 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk.

Wesley Mathews
Wesley Mathews (credit: Richardson Police Department)

As police continue to look for the missing girl Perlich said, "You will probably continue to see us do some very specific searches as our investigation moves forward. As we get additional information we will be searching those areas that we think may hold some type of tip, lead or evidentiary value in this particular case."

Members of the Mansfield Police Department and the Johnson County Sheriff's Office brought drones in to assist Richardson police with their search. "We have found some articles that are of interest to us,"Perlich said. "Whether or not they turn out to be evidence in this case remains to be determined."

Police launched drones as part of the search. The drones were on loan from the Mansfield Police Department and Johnson County, who were on hand to assist. Sgt. Perlich say the drones will give them an aerial perspective they haven't had. In some case, police have searched some or these areas before and are now taking a second and third look.

"We have some articles that are of interest to us," said Perlich.

Ultimately, those items may or may not become evidence. 

Volunteers have searched the neighborhood where the 3-year-old went missing and have plans to do additional searches, but Perlich said Richardson police aren't organizing those searches. "We have got our own agenda and we are specifically targeting areas that we feel are significant in this case and so we will be conducting those searches," he said. "If for some reason we need assistance, or anything like that, from the public we will make that cry and ask for some assistance."

Wesley Mathews was arrested and charged with child endangerment. While he bonded out of jail days ago Mathews was ordered to turn over his passport and is required to wear an ankle monitor. Richardson police say both Mathews and his wife are basically being uncooperative and aren't helping with the search for Sherin.

Despite it being more than a week since the toddler went missing investigators are cautiously optimistic. Perlich said, "We're always hopeful that we can find her alive, but time is our enemy. So, we're trying to progress as quickly as we possibly can in this case."

memorial for missing 3-year-old Sherin Mathews
memorial for missing 3-year-old Sherin Mathews (Andrea Lucia - CBS11)

Meantime, a priest placed a sign outside the Mathews' family home calling on Sherin's parents to "tell the truth."

"We the community are never going to stop until we find Sherin," said Rev. Thomas Ambalevelil.

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