The murder of Sherin Mathews in Dallas has brought her adopted parents under a shadow of doubt. The police, however, would not close the case unless they have collected and analyzed every single piece of evidence they can get their hands on.
The remains of the small girl are being analyzed at the cutting-edge FBI lab in Virginia. The investigators are also analyzing the 47 items of evidence collected from her house, including a washing machine and a vacuum cleaner.
Sherin’s father, Wesley Mathews, waited for five hours to inform the police that the girl was missing. He was busy doing other chores including laundry.
The police have collected several objects from the house, including shoes, tufts of hair found on the floor, bedspreads, and waste bins. Even the rubbish found inside the vacuum cleaner could provide vital clues in a scientific investigation.
Forensic experts will also turn the spotlight on the family’s car. They will look into the GPS system and other electronic devices in the car, seat belt, and cloth strands in the seat.
Experts can even identify the traces of pollen inside the car and match it against a massive database of about 15,000 samples. The police will only come to a conclusion after analyzing all these pieces of evidence.
That will still leave a question unanswered. Did the girl’s mother had any role to play in the disappearance and death?
The police suspected an insider role in the murder after they inspected surveillance cameras that showed that the family’s car had left the house after the time the girl was said to have disappeared. That clearly implicated one of the parents, or both.
Sini Mathews had refused to cooperate with the investigation in the first stage, the police alleged. Sini, a nurse, was asleep at the time of the child’s disappearance, the police believed.
The woman later handed over Sherin’s medical records to the police, helping the officers to establish the identity of the body found in a culvert in the area.
Wesley ultimately confessed to the police that the girl choked on milk while he was force-feeding her. If he were telling the truth, then why didn’t he wake his wife up. After all she was a registered nurse at the Dallas Children’s Medical Center. She was trained to deal with emergency situations involving children.
The Mathews couple, who hailed from Kerala, kept themselves aloof from neighbors. The people in the area did not have much to offer to the police. Mathews seldom spoke to them apart from waving a greeting, one of the neighbors said.
He initially said he had made the girl stand outside at around 3 am as a punishment for not drinking her milk. When he checked minutes later, she was gone.
The girl’s body was found from a narrow culvert hardly a kilometer from the house last Sunday, two weeks after she was reported missing. The body was detected by a cadaver dog after a day of downpour. The rains lead to the multiplication of microorganism and the resulting stench.
Strangely, the police had inspected the area as part of their search for the girl earlier. A police spokesman said the investigators could not find anything from the area during the first search. Did someone dump her body after that? In that case, where was the body kept until then? The police are struggling with so many questions.