A grand jury in Dallas County in the United States on Friday indicted Wesley Matthews for capital murder for killing his three-year-old adopted daughter Sherin Mathews in October 2017. The jury also charged him with tampering with physical evidence for dumping her body in a culvert near their house, inflicting injury to a child and child abandonment, the Dallas Observer reported.

The judges charged Sini Mathews, the adoptive mother, with child abandonment for allegedly leaving Sherin alone while she went out to a restaurant with her husband and their other daughter the night before the toddler was reported missing.

The parents had reported Sherin missing on October 7, 2017, less than a year since she was adopted from India. They had then claimed she went missing after Wesley Mathews made her stand in the backyard of their house at 3 am as punishment for not drinking her milk. After authorities found her body less than a mile from their house two weeks later, Wesley Mathews admitted to the police that he had moved her body, but claimed Sherin had died choking on milk in the family’s garage.

Early in January, the Dallas County medical examiner had found that Sherin Mathews had died from homicidal violence, which led prosecutors to her adding murder to the charges against the father. In court on Friday, a paediatrician testified that X-rays revealed multiple fractures in Sherin’s arms and legs, according to the Dallas Observer.

With the criminal investigation pending, prosecutors are withholding addition details about the child’s death, saying they “do not want anything to jeopardise the case”, PTI reported.