Sini Mathews, the adoptive mother of Sherin Mathews, the Indian three-year-old found dead in a culvert in Texas in October 2017, has been released from prison. After 15 months in jail, charges against Sini for child endangerment were dropped due to insufficient evidence against her.
â€śAfter extensive investigation it was found that the state cannot prove this matter beyond a reasonable doubt at this time," reads a motion filed by prosecutors and signed by state District Judge Amber Givens-Davis.
Sini and her husband Wesley, who are natives of Kerala, adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar in July 2016. Sherin disappeared on October 7, 2017, and Wesley initially claimed that he had sent her out in the wee hours of the morning as punishment for not drinking her milk. On October 22, 2017, Sherinâ€™s body was recovered from a culvert under a road about a kilometre from the Mathewsâ€™ home. The cause of Sherinâ€™s death could not be investigated as the body had decomposed.
Wesley later changed his version, claiming that when he tried to feed her, Sherin had choked on her milk. He also admitted that the family had gone out to dinner and left Sherin behind, a day before she died.
Wesley was indicted for capital murder by a grand jury and for tampering with evidence. Sini was charged with endangering a child.
Sini's attorney, Heath Harris, told the media that he did not expect Sini to testify against Wesley. "This has been a tragic accident for this family and now she's just trying to get back to her other child," he said.
Harris added that they would now fight to get Sini her passport back, have her visitation rights to her biological child, and ultimately have her parental rights back. However, according to Child Protection Services, parental rights, one terminated, are permanently done away with.
While Sini has been released from jail and will be reunited with her biological who's living with relatives in Houston, Wesley is still in prison for capital murder in relation to Sherin's death. He will face trial in May this year, and is presently being held on a $1 million bond.
If Sini was convicted in this case, she would have faced imprisonment from two to 20 years. Further, as she has been dismissed without prejudice, the same or different charges can still be levelled against her at any point of time.
The Richardson police department that had investigated the case has said that they will continue to work on the case.
â€śThe Richardson Police Department ... conducted a thorough investigation of the Sherin Mathews case and developed sufficient probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant for Sini Mathews. While we are disappointed with this turn of events, we will continue to work with the Dallas County District Attorney's Office to ensure justice is done," they said in a written statement.