Houston: The Indian-American adoptive parents of Sherin Mathews, the girl found dead in a culvert in Dallas, have forfeited their parental rights to their four-year-old biological child, who now has to live with family members with both her parents in jail ahead of their sentencing.
Wesley and Sini Mathews signed relinquishment paperwork for their biological child on Friday during their scheduled final Child Protective Service (CPS) hearing, according to US media reports.
CPS officials had removed her from the Mathews' Richardson home on 9 October, two days after her sister Sherin was reported missing.
Sherin's decomposed body was found two weeks later in a culvert close to her home. An autopsy concluded Sherin died of homicidal violence, but how she died could not be determined by the Dallas Medical Examiner's Office due to the decomposition of the body.
Wesley, 37, has been charged with capital murder in Sherin's death. Sini, 35, was arrested on a charge of child abandonment or endangerment based on her husband's admission to investigators that they went out to dinner and left Sherin alone the night before she died.
The Dallas County capital murder indictment against the father says he killed Sherin "by a manner and means unknown to the grand jury," court records show.
If convicted, Mathews could face the death penalty, should prosecutors choose to pursue it, or an automatic sentence of life without parole.
Wesley was arrested in October on a felony injury to a child charge after the girl's body was found. He originally told police that he put her outside on 7 October at 3 am because she would not drink her milk. He later changed that story to say that the child choked on her milk.
He is charged with four felonies, including injury to a child and capital murder. He is also charged with abandoning a child and tampering with physical evidence.
Updated Date: Jan 28, 2018 18:34:11 IST