The father of missing Richard, Texas, girl Sherin Mathews—whose body is believed to have been found by investigators—was arrested on a felony charge.
Police in Richardson say Wesley Mathews is facing a felony count of injury to a child, the police department said in a statement on Monday night. It’s a felony punishable by life or from 5 to 99 years in prison, the department noted.
“Mathews voluntarily arrived at the Richardson Police Station with his attorney and asked to speak with detectives. He provided an alternate statement of events from those which he had given previously, regarding the disappearance of Sherin,” the department wrote.
Details of the alternative statement were not provided by police.
“We are still awaiting a positive identification from the Dallas County Medical Examiners office for the child’s body found yesterday, believed to be Sherin Mathews,” the department said.
Mathews initially told investigators earlier this month that he ordered Sherin, 3, to stand outside the family’s home at 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk. He was later arrested that day before he posted bond and was released.
Police said they believe his wife, Sini Mathews, was sleeping when the girl was told to go outside and wasn’t aware of the alleged punishment, Fox4 reported. He was previously charged with endangerment to a child and had to wear an ankle monitor.
On Sunday, police said they found the body they believe to be Sherin’s in a culvert near a road close to the Mathews’ home, located in a suburb north of Dallas. She went missing Oct. 7.
The couple adopted Sherin in 2016 from India after she was abandoned in her native country, according to The Times of India.
“Worst news finding child’s body,” Richardson Police Chief Jimmy Spivey tweeted on Monday, but he added that he is “happy [it has been] recovered so properly laid to rest.”
Those who are responsible, he vowed, would be brought “to justice.”
— Chief Jimmy Spivey (@RPD_Chief) October 22, 2017