Authorities in Texas found the body of a small child on Thursday during the search for a 3-year-old girl who was reported missing more than two weeks ago.
Sherin Matthews went missing on Oct. 7 after her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, forced her to stand outside their house alone in the middle of the night as a punishment for not drinking her milk. She was last seen by him at 3 a.m. that morning.
Wesley Mathews was later arrested and charged with abandoning or endangering a child. He was released on a $250,000 bond.
Authorities conducted a weeks-long search around the neighborhoods and surrounding areas where Mathews last reported seeing Sherin.
On Thursday morning, police found the body of a small child in a culvert beneath a road, Sgt. Kevin Perlich, spokesman for the Richardson police department, said at a press conference. He did not specify how far the road was from Mathews’ property.
While authorities have yet to make a positive identification, Perlich said “indications are that it is most likely” the body of Sherin Mathews.
Her parents have been notified, Perlick said. A cause of death has not yet been determined. Police have not arrested anyone else so far, he said.
In a tweet on Thursday, the chief of the Richardson police department said, “Worst news finding child’s body. If it’s #SherinMathews happy recovered so properly laid to rest. Will bring person(s) responsible to justice.”