Authorities believe they have found the body of a missing 3-year-old Texas girl who vanished two weeks ago, allegedly after her father left her outside at night as punishment.
A search of an area near Sherin Mathews’ Richardson home late Sunday morning recovered the body in a culvert beneath a road, authorities said at a Sunday afternoon press conference.
“The indications are that it is most likely her, however, we have not had a positive ID,” Richardson Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich said.
Perlich, reached by HuffPost on Monday, said the local medical examiner’s office has taken custody of the body and will be examining it for an identification as well as a cause of death. How long that may take “depends on the condition of the body,” he said.
In the meantime, the investigation into the girl’s disappearance is still being treated as a missing person’s case, he said.
Sherin is believed to have been last seen alive around 3 a.m. on Oct. 7, when her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, left her near a field behind their home as punishment for not drinking her milk, he told police.
Mathews said he returned to check on her about 15 minutes later, only to find her missing. He said he then went inside and did laundry before calling police, roughly five hours later.
Perlich declined to say how far away the culvert is from the child’s home but described it as in the area of East Spring Valley Road and South Bowser Road. That location appears to be a half a mile north of the family’s home.
Mathews was arrested the same day as his daughter’s disappearance and charged with abandoning or endangering a child. He was released on $250,000 bond.
No further arrests had been made as of Monday afternoon, police said.
This story has been updated with comments from Police Sgt. Perlich.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.