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Texas father charged with murder in death of Indian orphan

AP  |  Dallas 

The father of a 3-year-old girl whose body was found in a near their suburban home about a year after she was adopted from an Indian was indicted today on capital

Wesley Mathews, 37, was also charged in County with abandoning a child and tampering with evidence. Prosecutors said the capital charge, which could carry the death penalty, was filed after an autopsy determined his daughter died from "homicidal violence."

The child, Sherin Mathews, disappeared in early October, sparking a broad search involving numerous enforcement agencies before her body was found later that month.

said evidence in the case was still unfolding today, but that there was no indication anyone else was involved in the death. Mathews had already been charged with felony injury to a child.

Mathews initially told police that his daughter disappeared after he punished her by sending her out in the night to stand by a tree near their home. He later told investigators the girl had developmental disabilities and was malnourished. He described a special diet regimen in which she had to eat whenever she was awake in order to gain weight.

Mathews said he had been trying to force the girl to drink milk in the garage of their home, according to an arrest affidavit filed by Mathews told police that Sherin choked and coughed and eventually he felt she had no pulse and believed the child had died. Investigators wrote that he "then admitted to removing the body from the home." The indictment released today alleges Mathews caused his daughter's death on October 7 using a deadly weapon that "is unknown to the grand jury."

Mathews was being held at the County jail on a $1 million bond. His wife, 35-year-old Sini Mathews, also was being held on a charge of abandoning a child.

An attorney for Wesley Mathews, Rafael de la Garza, did not immediately return a call for comment today. An attorney for has previously said she played no role in Sherin's death.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 13 2018. 02:20 IST