RICHARDSON, Texas - Parents of a Richardson girl who died under strained circumstances are still trying to regain custody of their other daughter.
Attorneys for both Wesley and Sini Mathews were in court Monday for their 4-year-old daughter’s custody hearing. It ended up being postponed for a second time.
Richardson police say they do not have any new information to release in the death of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews. There has been no further communication with the mother.
The couple was last in court on the issue in October. The hearing was postponed then so Wesley could hire a civil attorney. This time, his attorney argued he should be present to fight what he called “aggravated circumstances.” which could hurt his chances of regaining custody in the long run.
Wesley was arrested in connection with his adopted daughter’s death. Investigators found Sherin’s body in a culvert about a half a mile from the family’s home in Richardson.
CPS took custody of the couple’s 4-year-old daughter when Wesley first reported that Sherin was missing. He eventually admitted to moving her body. He told investigators she chocked and died after he forced her to drink her milk.
Because of the questionable circumstances surrounding Sherin’s death and possible additional criminal charges, the state does not want to offer any type of reunification services.
Wesley remains in jail, but his attorney said he loves his children and believes his 4-year-old daughter should live with her mother. He will be present at the next hearing to fight for custody.
“Dad loves his children. He does want to keep his parental rights,” said David Kleckner, Wesley’s attorney. “He certainly wants his children to go to the mother.”
Sini was in court on Monday. She is not facing any charges for Sherin's death and is allowed to visit her oldest daughter weekly. Her attorney told the judge she is still in agreement that for the time being the little girl should go to live with relatives in Fort Bend County who have agreed to care for her.
Attorney Bree West, who is not involved in this case, says she's not surprised the state is challenging the parental rights of both parents in light of the criminal circumstances, even though the mom has not been charged.
“She was in the home at the time when whatever happened, happened,” West said. “And so did she fail to protect Sherin Mathews? Then if so, that's going to be an extension to her failing to potentially protect her biological child.”
Richardson police say they're waiting on the final results of the autopsy to determine how Sherin died. Since it’s still an open investigation, it's possible that additional charges could be filed.
A CPS spokeswoman said a home study should be complete by Wednesday.
The next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 29.