Father of missing Texas girl claims she died after he force-fed her milk

The adoptive father of Sherin Matthews, a 3-year-old girl who went missing in Texas on October 7 and was later found dead, now says she died after he "physically assisted" her in drinking a glass of milk, according to a recently released police affidavit.

A body that was believed to belong to the toddler was discovered in a drainage culvert beneath a road near her Richardson, Texas, home on Monday night, according to police.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office was able to positively identify the body on Tuesday using her dental records.

Before the remains had been ID'd, the girl's adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, and his lawyer voluntarily went to the Richardson Police Department on Monday night and asked to speak with detectives about his missing daughter, the affidavit stated. 

"He provided an alternate statement of events from those which he had given previously, regarding the disappearance of Sherin," police said in a statement.

Pictured: Wesley Matthews and Sherin Matthews (Photos: Richardson Police Department)

Originally, Mathews told police that he ordered the 22-pound child to stand by a tree near an alleyway at 3 a.m. as a punishment after she refused to drink milk.

He claimed he returned to check on Sherin 15 minutes later but discovered she was missing. The family did not call the police to report her disappearance until around 8 a.m. that morning, according to KXAS.

On Monday, Mathews admitted to detectives that he had been trying to get Sherin to drink milk in the family's garage but that she refused to listen to him.

"Eventually the 3-year-old girl began to drink the milk," the affidavit said. "Wesley Mathews then physically assisted the 3-year-old girl in drinking the milk. The 3-year-old girl began to choke. She was coughing and her breathing slowed. Eventually, Wesley Mathews no longer felt a pulse on the child and believed she had died."

Mathews told police he then removed the girl's lifeless body from the home but did not comment on where he may have taken the child, according to the affidavit.

After giving his new statement, Mathews was re-arrested and charged with first-degree felony injury to a child, a crime punishable by up to life in prison. His bond has been set at $1 million.

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