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Child Fatality Report Release of Information to the Public

Person ID: 91308573

County of Child's Residence: DALLAS

Gender: Female

Age: 3 Year(s) 3 Month(s)

Date of Death: 10/22/2017

On the date of the fatality, the child was not in DFPS conservatorship and was living with the child's parent, a managing
conservator, a legal guardian or other person entititled to the child's possession.

Child's Name: Mathews,Sherin S

Current Report(s) of Abuse/Neglect:

Intake Date(s): 10/8/17; 10/14/17

Summary of Allegation(s)/Investigation:

The Department received a report of a missing child where foul play was suspected. It was reported that the
deceased child was an adopted child from India and had feeding issues and other delays. Other information was
obtained that the deceased child was attending feeding therapy every other week. It was reported that the deceased
child's father stated he put the deceased child out of the home at 3am on 10/07/2017, as punishment. It was stated
in the report that the deceased child's mother and three year old sibling were present in the home during the incident.
The deceased child's father stated that when he went outside to look for the deceased child 20 minutes later, she was
gone. The deceased child was missing for 5 hours before law enforcement was contacted. The report also stated
that the deceased child's mother knew that the deceased child was missing for 3 of those hours, but she didn't
contact law enforcement. It was suspected that the deceased child's father did something to harm the child, but what
was unknown. The deceased child was still missing at time of the report and an Amber Alert was issued for the
deceased child. Other information stated that the deceased child's father was arrested for endangering a child and
he was possibly about to bond out. There were serious concerns about the safety of the deceased child's three year
old sibling.

A subsequent report was received the following week that the deceased child had been appearing in public for the
last year (unknown exact time frame), with various injuries, including a black eye, a broken arm, and then a broken

TX DFPS SB1050B Report Report Generated: 05/14/2018
leg. It was unknown exactly how the deceased child sustained those injuries. It was also reported that the parents
adopted the deceased child approximately 1 year ago. It was reported that the deceased child's parents were having
a lot of issues due to the child's special needs, and this caused a strain on their marriage. It was also reported that
the child had been diagnosed with speaking disabilities, developmental delay and was malnourished.

Investigation Findings:

During the investigation, it was found that the story told by the deceased child's parents changed over time. The
parents did not cooperate with the CPS investigation and the parents refused to be interviewed regarding the
allegations. Because the Department could not guarantee the safety of the deceased child's older sibling, the sibling
was removed and placed in foster care. The sibling had two forensic interviews. Both times the sibling discussed the
deceased child being sick, throwing up a lot and that the family could not find her. The sibling stated the deceased
child was sitting on the grass, and that the father was giving her a time out. The sibling said the child got a time out
because she didn't drink her milk properly. The sibling stated the child was then lost at night and somebody took her
away. On 10/22/17, Richardson Police recovered remains of a body believed to be that of the deceased child, which
was later confirmed. The child's body was discovered under a street level culvert pipe, placed several feet inside the
pipe. The father later admitted that he force fed milk to the child while they were in the garage until the child gaged
and choked, and stopped breathing. Law Enforcement gathered additional information that the child's parents and
sibling were seen at a restaurant without the child earlier on the night the family reported her to be missing. It was
apparent that the child was left home alone without any adult supervision or protection. Both of the child's parents
were arrested during the investigation. The autopsy showed that the child died as a result of homicidal violence.
There was an advanced state of decomposition which precluded the identification of a specific cause of death.
However, given the investigative history and circumstances surrounding her death, it was the opinion of the medical
examiner that her death was the result of homicidal violence. Both parents were arrested by law enforcement
following the criminal investigation.

The deceased child's mother and father were confirmed for the physical abuse of the deceased child. This physical
abuse lead to the child's death. The child's mother and father were also confirmed for the neglectful supervision of
the deceased child for leaving her at home alone while they dined out. There was insufficient evidence to determine
whether the child was medically neglected by the mother and father.
Safety and Risk Assessment Factors Identified:
Case Action:

Other Services:

N/A

Other Actions Taken to Mitigate Risk:

TX DFPS SB1050B Report Report Generated: 05/14/2018
The deceased child's sibling was removed from the home, placed in foster case, and later placed with other family
members.

If one or more children were previously removed from the home, for each conservatorship episode,
summarize dates of conservatorship and type of placement at the end of conservatorship:

N/A

Previous Report of Abuse/Neglect:

Intake Date(s): 03/10/17

Summary of Previous Allegation(s)/Investigation:

It was reported that a month prior to the report, on 02/08/2017, the deceased child was hospitalized after the
mother noticed swelling around the child's right shoulder. The mother reported that the child fell on a slide at the
park. The mother stated she gave an over the counter pain medication to the child and put the child down for a
nap. After the nap, the mother tried to pick the child up and the child began screaming. The child was
diagnosed with having skin breakdown on her shoulders, a skin infection on both shoulders, and swelling. The
child had bilateral humorous fractures, almost to collar bone at the top of the shoulder. X-rays showed that the
child had an older injury; a left femur fracture. The child also had bony growths and older fractures. The child
had an earlier right arm fracture from jumping off a couch. It is believed that the child's left femur fracture might
have occurred a few weeks prior to 02/08/2017. There were concerns that the child's injuries were not
consistent with the explanation given and that the child had been physically abused. The report also stated that
the hospital wanted additional x-rays of the child but the mother refused. There was some information provided
regarding additional medical appointments with the child because she was underweight. The report indicated
that the child's parents were are not compliant with medical recommendations to treat the child's weight. It was
recommended that the mother get a certain formula to help the child gain weight, but the mother didn't have that
formula. The recommended formula was obtained for the child but the mother refused to pick up the formula.
The exact age of the child was not known because she was adopted from India by the parents.
Investigation Findings:

The deceased child's parents were interviewed during the investigation. Both of the parents denied harming the
child. The mother stated she had taken the child to park. The child fell and the mother attempted to grab her
arm to break the fall. The mother stated the child also hurt her head at the time of the fall. The father told the
investigator that the child slipped and fell while on the monkey bars at the park. Both of the parents stated the
child had health problems when they adopted her from India. The mother stated the child weighed 15.47lbs.
when she was adopted and that she weighed 19.4lbs during the investigation. The mother stated the child had
difficulty gaining weight and that she was a picky eater. When asked about the previous fracture of the child's
arm, the mother told the investigator that the child fell while jumping on the couch with her older sibling, and had
a mild hairline fracture. The mother told investigators that the child did not attend daycare because the mother
wanted to ensure the child ate sufficiently to gain weight. The mother reported the child was a picky eater and it
would take her 45 minutes to eat. The Department contacted medical collaterals who stated there were no
concerns about the previous injury because the story was consistent with the child falling off the couch.
Regarding the new injury to the child, the medical collateral stated that there were infections in the child's
shoulders and questionable fractures. There were bony growths and other unusual issues with the child's
bones. Several medical specialists were involved with the child including speech therapy, physical therapy and
occupational therapy. The child's bones do appear to be healing correctly, which meant older medical issues,
such as rickets, were no longer an issue. There had been a concern regarding the child's weight since her
adoption. The parents refused for several weeks to obtain a specific formula for the child because it was not
covered by medical insurance. They did later obtain the formula. Although there were no concerns regarding
the child's previous injuries, the new injuries were not consistent with the explanation given. There were
concerns about the recent injuries occurring prior to the date the parents said they occurred. Other doctors and
specialists that had been treating the child denied having concerns about abuse and neglect while the child was
with her adoptive parents. The medical professionals contacted stated that the child was in better health and at

TX DFPS SB1050B Report Report Generated: 05/14/2018
a better weight following her adoption.

Law Enforcement did investigate, but did not file any charges during the investigation. There was
insufficient evidence to determine if the deceased child was physically abused by her mother. An unknown
perpetrator was confirmed for the physical abuse of the deceased child, which may have happened prior to
her adoption. The allegation of physical neglect of the deceased child by her parents was not confirmed.
Safety and Risk Assessment Factors Identified: Structured Decision Making Safety Assessments:
1.) 03/11/2017: Structured Decision Making Safety Assessment - Initial: Safe
2.) 04/11/2017: Structured Decision Making Safety Assessment - Case Closure: Safe
Structured Decision Making Risk Assessment Final Risk Level: Moderate

Case Action:

Services and Referrals Provided to the Family:

Other Services:

N/A

Other Actions Taken to Mitigate Risk:

N/A

Other Previous Report of Abuse/Neglect:
Intake Date(s):

Summary of Previous Allegation(s)/Investigation:

Investigation Findings:

Safety and Risk Assessment Factors Identified:

Case Action:

Services and Referrals Provided to the Family:

Other Services:

TX DFPS SB1050B Report Report Generated: 05/14/2018
Other Actions Taken to Mitigate Risk:

Note: This report was prepared on 05/14/2018 and does not include corrections or updates, if any, that may be
subsequently made to DFPS data on or after the date this report was prepared.

TX DFPS SB1050B Report Report Generated: 05/14/2018