RICHARDSON - One week since a 3-year-old girl vanished during an alleged incident of bizarre late-night punishment meted out by her adoptive father, a memorial to her grows behind her Richardson home while her parents remain “uncooperative” according to police.
Neighbors have turned the tree across the backyard alley from Sherin Mathews’ home into a memorial to the little girl. People have left teddy bears, balloons, angel figurines, a box of written prayers, and even a single gallon of milk. It’s the tree where her father Wesley Mathews claims he left the girl as punishment for not drinking her milk when told. He claims that when he came back to get her she was gone.
He has since been arrested, and bonded out, on a charge of child endangerment and ordered to wear an ankle monitor as the investigation continues. But after a week, with searches that included the help of the FBI, Richardson police tell News 8 on this 8th day of her disappearance that they have no new information to report.
Child Protective Services has taken custody of the couple’s older 4-year-old daughter and neither Mathews nor his wife have talked publicly about what happened. But today Sherin Mathews grandparents back in India are quoted in an English language online newspaper.
“We love her,” Sam Mathews told the publication The News Minute of the missing girl. “My son did too. If they didn't love her, why would they adopt her?"
And neighbors who never even knew the girl, are talking with their tears. Some stood at the memorial and openly wept. Gary Cox along with his wife and daughter drove 30 miles to see this place. He says they had to.
“We were actually talking about it for the past several days. We got up this morning and we felt we needed to go help if there is any help to be given. There’s only three of us. But we can make a little bit of a difference maybe.”
Police are still looking for any surveillance video or information that will help show them where the family’s SUV went when it disappeared for an hour that morning.
But for now, as the flowers wilt, a neighborhood can only pray that hope for a happy ending isn’t fading too.