Washington: Sherin Mathews, a three-year-old Indian girl who was found dead in a ditch after being reported missing by her foster father, has been laid to rest in a private ceremony, family attorneys said.
The funeral was held on Tuesday “according to the religious beliefs and the cultural heritage of her family”, attorneys Mitchell R. Nolte and Gregg Gibbs said in a statement.
Sherin’s body was found in the culvert under a road about one kilometer from her home in suburban Dallas on October 22. Her parents, Sini and Wesley Mathews, adopted her in June 2016 from Bihar.
Her burial location is being kept a secret, the attorneys said, adding that the girl’s mother was in attendance along with close family and friends, reported WFAA, an ABC-affiliated television station.
“Because of the intense press and social media attention in this case, the family chose to keep the ceremony private so that the focus could be on Sherin’s future in Heaven and not on her tragic death on Earth,” the attorneys said.
Sherin’s 37-year-old father initially told police that she disappeared when he made her stand in a lane behind their house in Richardson city at 3 a.m. on October 7 as punishment for not drinking milk.
But after the girl’s body was discovered, the father admitted that the child choked while he was making her drink milk and died in their home in Texas.
Wesley Mathews was arrested and charged with felony injury to a child. He is still in Dallas County jail on a $1 million bond.
Sini Mathews, who told police that she was sleeping when the child was sent out, was not charged. The police took Mathews’ biological four-year-old daughter into state custody after the incident.