A doctor in the city of Dallas in Texas, United States, who examined Sherin Mathews in March found signs of abuse on her, The Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday. Mathews, a three-year-old Indian girl adopted by an Indian-American couple, was found dead in a culvert near her home in Dallas in October.
During a custody hearing on Wednesday, Dr Suzanne Dakil said in her testimony that she had called the Child Protective Services to report that the girl had been hurt by her parents after realising that Sherin Mathews had several bone fractures. Mathews’ adoptive parents, Wesley Mathews and Sini Mathews, are seeking to get back the custody from the state of their biological daughter, a local affiliate of NBC News reported. Their daughter, who is also three years old, is at present living with relatives after spending more than a month in foster care.
Sherin Mathews was first treated for an elbow fracture in September 2016. Her family had then said that she was playing with her sister, who had pushed her off a couch, the doctor said. The girl was admitted to a hospital in early February for a skin infection and a possible muscle and joint infection, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Dr Dakil said the girl had injuries in the bones on her upper-arm. A number of X-rays also showed fractures in the toddler’s legs that were at different stages of healing, the doctor told the court.
Sini Mathews was arrested on November 16 for endangering the toddler’s life after she and her husband went out for dinner with their biological daughter, leaving Sherin Mathews alone at home. They reportedly did not take her along because she refused to drink her milk, the police had said.
This took place on October 6, a day before Wesley Mathews reported to the authorities that the toddler was missing. He had told the police that his daughter went missing after he told her to stand outside their house at 3 am as a punishment for not drinking milk.
However after Sherin Mathews’ body was found on October 24, the girl’s adoptive father changed his story and told the Texas Police that he was with her in the garage trying to get her to drink her milk and saw her die after choking.