Unbelievable [Except It's Real]: Sherin Mathews Is Missing

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    "Late Monday afternoon, an Amber Alert was discontinued due to a lack of leads in the case."

    I'm sorry, I'm having a hard time dealing with this one. There is one paragraph in Nina Golgowski's↱ report for the Huffington Post that isn't completely and utterly devastating; it is the one-sentence paragraph at the end, asking for help, and offering the police phone number in Richardson, Texas (972.744.4800).

    A desperate search is underway for a 3-year-old Texas girl whose father says vanished after he left her outside at night as punishment for not drinking her milk, according to police.

    Sherin Mathews was last seen wearing a pink top and black pajama bottoms outside of her home in Richardson, just north of Dallas, around 3 a.m. Saturday, local authorities said in a release. She has "developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills," according to the authorities.

    Sherin's father, Westley Mathews, allegedly told police that he ordered the three-feet-tall, 22-pound child to stand by a tree near an alley as punishment over the milk dispute. He returned to check on her 15 minutes later but found her gone. He didn't call police until five hours later, Sgt. Kevin Perlich told Dallas-Fort Worth station KXAS-TV.

    Everything else is just a wasteland of the soul.

    • "Why was the last sighting at 3 o'clock and the parents not call us until after 8 a.m.? That's the question we want answered as well," Perlich told the station.

    • Mathews was arrested later that night for abandoning or endangering a child, police said.

    • According to a copy of the arrest affidavit obtained by local television station WFAA, the girl's father told police that he knew coyotes had been spotted in the alley where he left his daughter. The home is also near railroad tracks.

    • ... the family has previously had contact with the department [of Family and Protective Services].

    • Late Monday afternoon, an Amber Alert was discontinued due to a lack of leads in the case.

    I have yet to get past the proverbial #WTF stage.


    Golgowski, Nina. "3-Year-Old Missing After Left Outside For Not Drinking Milk: Cops". The Huffington Post. 9 February 2017. HuffingtonPost.com. 9 February 2017. http://bit.ly/2yC7X8p
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  3. birch Valued Senior Member

    well, now you know why some people become cynical about society and dislike/distrustful of the people in them resulting in eventual misanthropy.
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  5. Bells Staff Member

    In my experience with these sorts of crimes, parents or caregivers who kill their children and then report the child as having disappeared in mysterious circumstances, usually come up with far fetched scenarios.

    Prime example:

    Mathews sent his daughter, Sherin, to the alley at 3 a.m., according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Sunday, because the girl refused to drink her milk. Mathews told police that he told his daughter to stand next to a tree across the street from the Mathews backyard on the other side of the alley. Coyotes were recently seen in the area.

    The reason this is unbelievable is because it is unbelievable. For a few reasons..

    A 3 year old toddler refuses to drink her milk at 3:00am.. So a parent would normally put her back to bed. More to the point, kids that age aren't really getting up at 3:00am to drink milk to begin with, but apparently there's a sort of excuse for that too:

    Perlich said Mathews and his wife adopted Sherin, who was malnourished when the couple took her in. Mathews told investigators it wasn't unusual for the girl to wake up late at night to eat so that her weight would increase, Perlich said. That may explain why she was punished at 3 a.m., he said. He said authorities are casting a broad net in determining what happened to the girl.

    "We don't have any other indication or evidence that she was forcibly abducted from that area," he said.

    And that hardly seems like a crime or wrongdoing enough to warrant putting her outside, across the street from their backyard. If all of that that is not unbelievable enough up to this point, the fact that the police were not notified until 5 hours after she had gone missing makes the excuses ring untrue even more. And conveniently even more unbelievable, the father reported that coyotes were seen in the area.

    Mathews also reportedly told investigators that he "knew coyotes had been seen in the alley where he left his daughter."​

    If coyotes had taken her, it would be pretty obvious. But it sure sounds convenient.

    The amber alert was probably canceled because they already have their suspect in custody.

    It was either he or someone else in the house who did something to her. And that is probably why the police have taken all the vehicles connected to the property and are now looking for any security camera footage in the area, not to mention set his bond at a quarter of a million dollars:

    Police were seen towing the family's van and two SUV's on Saturday and canvassing the neighborhood for surveillance video.

    Wesley Mathews is being held in the Richardson Jail on a $250,000 bond

    That child deserved better.
    Walter L. Wagner and exchemist like this.
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Sounds like someone being a little too helpful to guide the police toward a plausible explanation.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Not necessarily. It could come from response to direct question. If the police have answered coyote calls in the area, they're going to ask about it.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    #laundry | #because

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    I think what hurts the most right now is the utter stupidity.

    Richardson police are providing a more detailed timeline of the disappearance of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews and the time that elapsed before she was reported missing by her father ....

    .... The girl's father allegedly told detectives he directed the girl to stand next to a tree behind the fence at their home after she wouldn't drink her milk. The tree is across an alley and about 100 feet away from the home.

    Mathews reportedly returned to get his daughter about 15 minutes later and discovered she was gone, according to an affidavit. He reportedly set out to try and find his daughter, to no avail.

    He then went inside his home, hoping she would return on her own, according to police Sgt. Kevin Perlich.

    Mathews then did a load of laundry, according to Perlich, and wanted to wait for daylight to search for her again.

    The father didn't notify police that his daughter was missing for about five hours, Sgt. Perlich said, who added that the delay in reporting the matter "is certainly concerning to us."

    "That does not seem like a normal response that one would do if you have a missing child," Perlich said.


    I ... uh ... I ....


    No wonder they're no longer cooperating with investigators↱.


    Burke, Minyvonne. "Parents of missing 3-year-old Texas girl no longer cooperating with police". New York Daily News. 10 October 2017. NYDailyNews.com. 10 October 2017. http://nydn.us/2yahnVp

    Guerrero, Maria. "FBI Evidence Team Now at Home of Missing 3-Year-Old". KXAS. 10 October 2017. NBCDFW.com. 10 October 2017. http://bit.ly/2yfbnwE
  10. Bells Staff Member

    It's actually quite predictable. People who commit these sorts of crimes against their own children or loved ones, often believe they are much smarter than everyone else, that these excuses sound plausible. Because who doesn't do a load of laundry while one's toddler has gone missing instead of calling the police? He was too busy doing the wash and fold to call the police.. Sounds valid, right? I mean sure, to us it sounds dumb as shit, but to people who commit these crimes, it's valid. Sets the doubt in play.

    There was a crime close to where I live, not that long ago actually. A man called the police early in the morning, to declare his wife was missing. That she has probably gone for a walk in the morning and never returned. He claimed he had woken up at 6:00am to find her gone and by 7:15am, was so concerned that he called the police.. But seeing that she had not been missing long, they arrived at 8:00am.. It wasn't a priority case at the time, since she may have just gone for a long walk or was out and not answering her phone.

    He’d left her watching The Footy Show when he’d gone to bed the night before.

    His alarm had shrilled its morning wakeup call at 6am and he’d risen to find her gone.

    This was the story he’d tell again and again. But police would never find any evidence Allison had gone for a walk at all.

    In Australia, about 35,000 people — or one every 15 minutes — go missing every year. Most are found within a week. Many missing persons cases take hours, days, or even weeks before an urgent investigation is launched.

    In the extraordinary case of Allison Baden-Clay, it took minutes.

    Constables Kieron Ash and Leah Hammond arrived at the Baden-Clay home at 8am, took one look at Gerard and feared foul play.

    He was dressed for work when he emerged from the house and greeted the officers.

    Const. Ash noticed the tie and cufflinks. But mostly he noticed the gouges down Gerard’s face. Jagged red lines. They dragged their angry way down Gerard’s right cheek, all the way to the bottom of his jaw.

    Those weeping scratches told a story. He’d told them he’d cut himself shaving. They looked at this pillar of the community and saw a liar.

    They called for backup.

    Perhaps it was a case of a depressed suburban mum needing time away. Or maybe they’d find her injured on a walking track, clutching a twisted ankle.

    But they didn’t think so.


    Const. Ash took a look around the house. He checked the bathrooms for bloodied tissues or towels, some evidence to back up Gerard’s shaving cut story. He found nothing.

    Outside, he took out his phone and dialled the boss, Senior Sergeant Narelle Curtis.

    He told her he wasn’t happy with Gerard’s story. She told him she was on her way.

    She arrived soon after with a colleague, Sergeant Andrew Jackson.

    “My name’s Sgt Jackson and this is Sen Sgt Narelle Curtis. I’m the Indooroopilly ...’’ the sergeant began.

    “Cut myself shaving,’’ Gerard interrupted.

    They hadn’t even had a chance to ask

    These are the scratches he claimed he got from cutting himself shaving..

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    It gets worse..

    The next day, the police set up a command post nearby, to try to jag people's memory in case they had seen her. He dropped by early in the morning with his sister and advised he could not stay as he had a doctor's appointment first thing in the morning:

    Kenmore Clinics Medical Practice gave him the first appointment of the day.

    At 8.30am he was ushered into the office of Dr Candice Beaven. He asked her to take a look at the marks on his face. He’d cut himself shaving the previous morning, he explained. An old razor. He’d been in a hurry.

    He seemed anxious. He kept repeating himself. Three times he told her the marks were from shaving.

    She took a look. Told him the scratches were superficial. There was no specific treatment she would recommend.

    There were three gouges on his face. He told her he’d done them in one motion.

    She was sceptical. She explained their size and the distance between them made it seem unlikely they’d been caused by the one action.

    “I was in a rush,’’ he said.

    “It could have been a few.’”

    But the real reason he was there, he told her, was to document his injuries for a police investigation. He told her police had told him to. It was a lie.

    “I don’t know if you know but my wife is missing at the moment,’’ he said.

    He seemed insistent that the doctor make notes to the effect the scratches were shaving cuts. She wouldn’t.

    Gerard’s manner stayed friendly and jovial as the doctor made her notes. He asked where she lived and how long she’d worked at the Kenmore clinic.

    She told him she lived too far from work. She wanted to move closer.

    “I might be able to help you with that,’’ Gerard, the salesman, said.

    The man whose wife was missing, who was at an appointment with big, jagged marks on his face that looked suspiciously like fingernail scratches, took a business card from his wallet and put it on Dr Beaven’s desk with a smile.

    Gerard was back at Indooroopilly police station later that day. His lawyer stood by his side while they swabbed him for DNA.

    A scenes of crime officer stood nearby, camera in hand, as Gerard removed his shirt. They knew about the scratches on his face. They didn’t know there would be more.

    There were scratches on his neck. A caterpillar had landed on him. He’d scratched it away.

    There were scratches by his right armpit. A large red graze was on the left hand side of his chest and a cut was on the palm of his right hand.

    He told them they were self-inflicted. He asked the officers whether they could tell he’d scratched himself

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    That is apparently where he scratched off a caterpillar... You can just see the scratch marks on his neck, in the top right.

    Her body was found some weeks later, in a creek. He was found guilty of her murder.

    There are the countless stories of parents who report their children missing from their beds, cars, strollers, and each time the excuses seem unbelievable.

    From a law enforcement perspective, we should be thankful that people are so stupid. But it's still shit either way, that people can commit these crimes and actually believe they can get away with it.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    Be there a God in Heaven, we might recall that comedy is cruelty and wonder at vice in the context of an infinite and permeating divinity:

    Detectives and FBI agents searched Mathews's house midweek, and subsequently announced that someone left in the family's SUV about 4 a.m. on the day she disappeared, and returned home within the hour.

    Mathews was arrested on child abandonment and endangerment charges the same day Sherin went missing but has since been released on bond and stopped cooperating with detectives, according to CBS 11.

    Police said Sherin's mother was asleep during the incident and she has not been charged, but the station reported that she's also stopped cooperating. Child Protective Services, which had unspecified contact with the family before the disappearance, has since removed Sherin's older sister from the home.

    Neither parent were seen at a large vigil for the girl Friday, Fox 4 reported.

    The same day, a tip led police to scour a cemetery near the edge of Richardson for signs of Sherin.

    (Selk and Eltagouri↱)

    Believe it or not, the story only goes downhill:

    The tale also starts to read as if, from the day she was born, Sherin Mathews never stood a chance.

    Her name is Saraswati; it is the only name she had in India:

    Authorities at the NGO in Bihar's Nalanda, where three-year-old Saraswati stayed before she was adopted by a US-based couple more than a year ago, recall that the girl was not stubborn and drank her morning milk with the other children without any fuss ....

    .... Babita Kumari, secretary of Mother Teresa Anant Seva Sansthan, the now-defunct NGO where Saraswati lived, said Wesley and his wife Sini have their roots in Kerala. "Saraswati was less than two-years-old when she was adopted. Though the couple could have adopted a child from anywhere in India, they showed preference for Bihar. Saraswati lived with us for about a year after she was rescued from Gaya where she was probably abandoned by her parents," she said.

    Asked if Saraswati was stubborn in refusing to drink milk, Babita Kumari said: "As a small NGO, we could provide milk to only 50-odd children in the morning. After all children would line up, we would offer them milk and they drank it without any fuss. Saraswati would also eat whatever was given to her. We are shocked to learn that she has gone missing".


    Everything about this is strange:

    According to a US-based online news portal, FBI is still searching for the girl who went missing after her father Wesley Mathews, an Ernakulam native, asked her to stand outside their residence after midnight as punishment ....

    .... Babita Kumari, secretary of the now defunct NGO, said that the girl was known as Saraswati before being adopted by the couple. "She was a little stubborn but every child has a similar nature. She was very affectionate towards a female caretaker of the NGO whom she called nani. She used to wait for her on the stairs for several hours. The moment Saraswati's nani arrived, she used to run and embrace her," Babita recalled.

    Babita came to know that the girl was missing only while talking to this reporter. She also said that the child had a deformity in one eye.

    Babita said that the girl was only one-and-a-half years old when she was rescued by Bal Kalyan Samiti of Gaya district after being abandoned by her family and was later handed over to the NGO on February 14, 2015.

    "During her initial days, Saraswati used to remain quiet but gradually she opened up at the centre," she said.


    Or, as the Washington Post article from Selk and Eltagouri summarizes:

    Born in India, the girl has passed from ward to ward for much of her short life.

    She was abandoned by her birth parents before her second birthday, according to the Times of India, and rescued by adoption workers.

    While in the agency's custody, the Times reported, Sherin would wait for hours on the stairs until a worker she called “nani” arrived, then run and hug the woman.

    The Mathewses adopted her last year, bringing her to their quiet neighborhood of mostly South Asian families outside Dallas, where Sherin met her new sister, who is one year older.

    By age 3, Sherin weighed only 22 pounds, according to Richardson police. Her father told detectives she had an eating disorder, and the couple tried to feed her whenever she was awake ....

    .... Besides her eating disorder, police said, Sherin has a disability that makes it hard for her to communicate. Officials issued an Amber Alert for her after she disappeared, but they suspended it for lack of information.

    And that doesn't even begin to account for the witness who "happened to be lighting a barbecue grill in his yard early Saturday morning, and saw and heard nothing".

    We know enough about Sherin Mathews to have a critical discussion about journalistic method, purpose, and theory in India, but we don't know where she actually is.

    Apropos is a Devil's game; every sentence of this tale sickens me.

    We all know the unspeakable question; I will accept the answer as long as we get an answer. We need an answer. Saraswati cannot just be a ghost to flit through our world like the shadow of a whispered curse.


    Karmakari, Debashish. "Missing Texas girl, adopted by Malayali parents, none other than Bihar's Saraswati". The Times of India. 14 October 2017. TimesOfIndia.IndiaTimes.Com. 16 October 2017. http://bit.ly/2kSsYW9

    Selk, Avi and Marwa Eltagouri. "Police want to know why a couple's SUV left home after their toddler went missing at 3 a.m." The Washington Post. 14 October 2017. WashingtonPost.com. 16 October 2017. http://wapo.st/2gmgODD

    Singh, Santosh. "Girl adopted from Nalanda missing in US: 'Saraswati would eat whatever was given to her'". The Indian Express. 16 October 2017. IndianExpress.com. 16 October 2017. http://bit.ly/2kSsYW9

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