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Mother of Sherin Mathews, adopted girl found dead, charged with abandonment

DALLAS - The mother of a girl who was adopted from India and found dead last month in suburban Dallas has been charged with child abandonment after police allege that she left the 3-year-old home alone.

Richardson police say Sini Mathews turned herself in Thursday. Her bond was set at $250,000.

Sherin Mathews' body was found outside in a drain on Oct. 22, about three weeks after she was reported missing. CBS DFW reports that the coroner has not yet determined her cause of death.

Sherin Mathews CBS Dallas/Fort Worth

Sherin's father, Wesley Mathews, is currently jailed on a felony injury to a child charge. He has reportedly told police multiple stories about how the girl died and how her body ended up outside. CBS DFW reports that when he was initially arrested he told police that he was punishing Sherin for not drinking her milk and that at 3 a.m. he ordered her outside to stand by a tree about 100 feet outside their backyard. He said he left the little girl there and when he returned 15 minutes later discovered she was gone.

Wesley Mathews later changed his story, claiming that he was trying to get Sherin to drink her milk, but that she wouldn't listen to him and when she finally complied he "physically assisted her in drinking the milk," but that she began to choke and after coughing for a while her breathing slowed. 

He said when he could no longer feel Sherin's pulse he "believed she had died" and removed the body from the house.

Police say that Sherin was left home alone for 1½ hours the night of Oct. 6 while her parents and their 4-year-old biological child went to dinner. They also say they believe she was home when the family returned. She was reported missing the next day.

Richardson police Sergeant Kevin Perlich said the charge against Sini Mathews is, "…not necessarily related to her [Sherin's] death. It's related to the care she was given while in that home."

In a statement, attorney Mitch Nolte confirmed that he escorted Sini Mathews to the police department but didn't comment on the case against her.

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