3-Year-Old Missing After Dad Left Her Outside in the Dark for Not Drinking Her Milk

 3-year-old missing after father punishes her
Richardson Police Department

The line between creative discipline and outright child abuse is thick enough that most parents should be able to see it clearly. Unfortunately, too many parents cross these lines, leading to horrible consequences. A Texas father has recently been arrested after his 3-year-old daughter went missing while she was forced to stand outside alone as a punishment

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According to a report from the Richardson Police Department, 3-year-old Sherin Mathews was forced outside by her father, Wesley Mathews, as a punishment after she refused to drink her milk. The father allegedly told his daughter to stand by a tree in the family's backyard, but when he came back 15 minutes later to check on her, she was gone.

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3-year-old missing after father leaves her outside
Richardson Police Department

Wesley Mathews did not report his daughter missing until 8 a.m., around five hours after he discovered her gone. When police arrived at the family's home, they were told that coyotes had been recently spotted in the alley behind the family's house. They also noted that the back of the home faces train tracks.

Wesley was arrested later on Saturday with charges of abandoning and/or endangering a child, though he was released from custody on Sunday after posting his $250,000 bond. His wife has not been arrested or charged.

After her disappearance, police towed the family's vehicles to search for evidence and went door-to-door through the family's neighborhood using search dogs in attempts to locate the girl. Officials also issued an Amber Alert for Sherin on Saturday, though that alert has since been discontinued due to lack of evidence that the girl had been abducted. "We need to have a specific vehicle or a suspect, and we lack that," said police spokesman Kevin Perlich, according to Dallas News.

Marissa Gonzales, a spokesperson for Child Protective Services, said the agency is working with law enforcement on the case. She has also said that the couple's other child, a 4-year-old girl, has been placed in foster care while the investigation is ongoing. 

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As of today, police are continuing to search for Sherin Mathews. She was last seen wearing a pink top, black pajama bottoms, and pink flip-flops. Officials also report that the child has developmental issues and very limited verbal communication skills.

Anyone with information has been prompted to contact Richardson police at (972) 744-4800.

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