Houston: US authorities have sent the body of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews to a funeral home but a medical report on the cause of death of the Indian girl, adopted by an Indian-American couple, is yet to come out, according to a media report.
A confirmation of the cause of Sherin’s death is still pending, a spokesman for the police department in Richardson city, Texas, told Fox News.
Sherin’s body, found in a culvert on October 22, has been sent to a funeral home by the Dallas medical examiner, the report said.
A spokesman for the Dallas County Medical Examiner said the body of Sherin was released on Saturday but did not say who has custody of the body.
It is not clear if Sherin’s foster mother Sini Mathews will have a role in handling the funeral arrangements since Sherin’s foster father, Wesley Mathews, is under the custody of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department in connection with the child’s tragic death.
An online petition had requested authorities not to release Sherin’s body to her foster parents and allow the people to give her a proper burial that she deserves.
Sherin’s body was found inside a culvert in Richardson city, nearly 1 km from her home.
Her body was discovered by cadaver dogs over two weeks after she was reported by Wesley to be missing from her home.
Sherin was adopted by the couple from India last year. Wesley, 37, has been arrested on a charge of felony injury to a child with bond set at USD 1 million.
He told police that Sherin had choked to death while drinking milk in the middle of the night on October 7.
Mathews changed his story on Sherin’s disappearance, initially claiming he left her outside at 3 am on October 7 as punishment for not drinking her milk.
Mathews’ latest claim is that he tried to “physically assist” Sherin in drinking her milk, but she choked on it and died.
Sherin’s foster mother, Sini, has denied any role in the girl’s death and says she is cooperating in the investigation.
But, Richardson police say Sini Mathews has not been as cooperative as she has said, the Fox News report said.
Meanwhile, over two dozen people lit candles and said a pray for Sherin at a vigil on Saturday at the India Association of North Texas in Richardson, NBC Dallas reported.
The vigil was attended by Indian community leaders in North Texas, as well as a member of the Consulate General of India in Houston.
The CGI representative said he was not authorised to speak about the case but the Indian mission here has tweeted that it is actively involved in the investigation.
The tree where Wesley initially said he had left Sherin for not finishing milk and the culvert where her body was later found have become memorial sites.
People have been visiting these places and putting stuffed toys and flowers daily and praying for the baby to rest in peace.
“It’s a tragedy. A lot of people failed her. So, it’s time for us to pray, and hope that this never happens again in this entire community,” said Salman Farshori, president of the India Association of North Texas.