A three-year-old Indian girl with developmental issues has been missing in the US state of Texas after her foster father allegedly told her to stand outside alone late in the night as punishment for not finishing her milk, media reports said.
Sherin Mathews, adopted two years ago by Wesley Mathews at an orphanage in India, has not been seen since around 3 am on Saturday morning, NBC reported.
He was released on a $250,000 bond late on Sunday night, Sergeant Kevin Perlich said.
Sherin went missing after her father allegedly told her to stand by a tree near an alley outside their home in Richardson as punishment for not finishing her milk, Perlich was quoted as saying by the Houston Chronicle.
When her father went to check on Sherin roughly 15 minutes later, she was gone. The father did not notify the police that his daughter was missing until about five hours later, police said, adding that the delay in reporting the matter “is certainly concerning to us.” Perlich added:
The girl has “developmental issues and has limited verbal communication skills,” police said. The father at one point told the investigators that coyotes have been seen in the alley, but investigators say there’s no indication one may have dragged the girl away.
While footage from surveillance cameras in the area is being examined to determine what exactly happened to the toddler, the investigators have confiscated three vehicles, laptops and cellphones from the family for review, reported NBC.
The toddler’s 4-year-old sister has temporarily been placed in police custody by the Texas Child Protective Services, until the investigation concludes.
(With inputs from PTI and NBC)