Body found by police searching for toddler (3) who was 'sent outside as punishment for not drinking her milk'
Police in Texas have found a body while searching for a missing toddler (3) who was reportedly sent outside by her father because she wouldn't drink her milk.
The disappearance of Sherin Mathews on October 7 sparked a mass search.
On Sunday investigators found a body while searching for the youngster.
"The indications are that it is most likely her, however, we have not had positive ID. So until we have a positive identification we are not going to say it is Sherin," Sgt. Kevin Perlich told Dallas News.
Wesley Mathews (37) ordered his three-year-old daughter Sherin Mathews to stand next to a tree behind the fence at their home in Texas at around 3am on the morning she went missing.
The tree is across an alley from the home.
Mr Matthews told police that he sent Sherin outside because she wouldn't finish her milk. He went to check on her 15 minutes later but she was gone.
The child, who has a developmental disability, was wearing leggings, a pink long-sleeved shirt and pink flip-flops.
According to Fox News, police were concerned that Mr Matthews didn't report his child missing until five hours later.
He was arrested for child endangerment and abandonment.
Mr Mathews at one point told investigators that coyotes have been seen in the alley, but investigators say there's no indication one may have dragged the girl away.
Investigators have seized phones, laptops and cars belonging to the family.
State Child Protective Services also removed a 4-year-old child from the home.
Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich, said Mr Mathews and his wife adopted Sherin, who was malnourished when the couple took her in. Mr Mathews told investigators it wasn't unusual for the girl to wake up late at night to eat so that her weight would increase. That may explain why she was punished at 3am, he said. Mr Perlich said authorities are casting a broad net in determining what happened to the girl.