Houston: The police in Texas have not ruled out the possibility of more arrests in the mysterious death of a 3-year-old Indian girl even as her foster father is facing a charge that carries the possibility of a life sentence.
Wesley Mathews, 37, was re-arrested after the Indian-American changed his story about his adoptive daughter Sherin Mathew's mysterious disappearance over two weeks ago from their home, the police in Richardson city in suburban Dallas said.
Wesley had previously claimed that Sherin went missing after he sent her outside their home around 3 am on October 7 as punishment for not drinking her milk.
Richardson police spokesman sergeant Kevin Perlich said on that the probe was continuing, despite the revised statement by Wesley.
Wesley has been charged with injury to a child, a felony punishable with a maximum 99 years in prison, the Richardson police said. He was being held on $1 million bond.
"Criminal charges are determined based on what information and evidence is available at the time. Mr.Wesley's statements today to Richardson detectives currently support the offense of Injury to a Child," the Richardson police department said said in a Facebook post.
"This charge carries the possibility of a life sentence in prison. Keep in mind, this is an active investigation, and there is the possibility of additional arrests or modified charges as more evidence becomes available," the police said.
Wesley, who works in an IT company, admitted to police that he disposed of the child's body after she choked on her milk, according to a probable cause affidavit released by police.
The father was previously arrested and charged with felony endangerment to a child and was placed on electronic ankle monitoring. He surrendered his passport as a condition of making bond on October 9. He was later released.
The police confirmed on Tuesday that the body of a child found on Sunday in a culvert beneath a road was that of Sherin Mathews.
The cause of death was still pending, the Richardson police said on its Facebook page, citing the Dallas County Medical Examiners Office.
Wesley's wife Sini Mathews, who is a registered nurse, was reportedly sleeping in her room when the incident occurred.
Perlich had earlier said the police believed Sini was unaware of her husband's alleged punishment of the girl and that she was sleeping at the time. She cooperated with police to identify Sherin's body by providing the dental records of the child, he said.
However, the Richardson Police on Tuesday made a plea for Sini to agree to speak with the police. She has reportedly not cooperated with the police.
The police have unsuccessfully tried to get Sini to voluntarily answer questions, Perlich said earlier.
Her attorney Kent Starr said she was 'distraught' over the loss of her daughter and that she was trying to regain custody of her four-year-old biological daughter who was placed in foster care after her sister's disappearance.
Later, Starr told NBC 5 that he has withdrawn and is no longer Sini's criminal defense attorney.
It is unclear whether authorities believe Wesley's new account of what happened.