Category Archives: Neglect

Head Of TX CPS Vows To Get Better

.jpg photo of adoptive mother of child found dead
Sini Mathews, mother of Sherin Mathews.

State failed 3-year-old Sherin Mathews,
head of Child Protective Services says

Texas Child Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman is disappointed in his agency’s handling of Sherin Mathews’ case.

Whitman, who declined to talk about any specifics of the case, said the agency will figure out how Sherin’s case “slipped through.”

“I’m gonna tell you right now, it is my mission, it is my passion that we get better at this,” he said.

In March, a doctor found that the 3-year-old Richardson girl had suffered injuries to her upper-arm bones and fractures in her leg bones that were in various stages of healing, according to testimony Wednesday.

The doctor, Suzanne Dakil of the Referral and Evaluation of At Risk Children Clinic, reported the injuries to CPS, suspecting that Sherin had been injured at the hands of her parents.

“I had no explanation other than this child had been physically abused,” Dakil said.

Sherin was found dead in a culvert Oct. 24, more than two weeks after her father reported her missing.  Wesley Mathews originally told police he had left her outside in an alley around 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk.  Later, he said that she had choked while he “physically assisted” her in drinking the milk, and he left her body in the culvert.

Wesley and his wife, Sini, remain jailed on charges related to the girl’s death.  Her father is charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury and her mother is charged with abandoning or endangering a child.  Authorities say the couple went out to dinner with their other daughter, also 3, while leaving Sherin at the house alone.

The other daughter was placed with family members in November after more than a month in foster care.  She is the couple’s biological daughter; Sherin was adopted from India.

Court testimony this week showed that Sherin was treated for an elbow fracture in September 2016.  The family said her sister had pushed her off a couch while the two were playing, according to medical records.

Injuries in her upper-arm bones were suffered after Sini grabbed the girl to catch her from a fall on the playground, she claimed.  But Dakil told the court that the injuries weren’t consistent with the mother’s claims.

After more X-rays showed leg fractures, Dakil reported the family to CPS.

The agency reached out to Dakil about Sherin’s medical history, she said, but the CPS commissioner says that “they could have done a better job.”

Commissioner Whitman says he can’t say why Sherin wasn’t removed from her home after the report, but that “it breaks [his] heart.”

“I mean, to have a child go outside because they didn’t want to drink their milk or whatever, I mean that story was just not believable,” he said to WFAA.  “I don’t know.  I don’t know what was going through her father’s mind.

“It’s astounding to me why someone would do that to a baby.”

The World Lemmings Love So Much

.jpg photo of site where Child was found
On Sunday officials discovered the body of a young child.

Child’s body found in Richardson is ‘most likely’ missing 3-year-old Sherin Mathews

Dallas, TX  –  Less than a mile from the Richardson home where a missing 3-year-old was last seen two weeks ago, officials on Sunday discovered the body of a young child.

Police have not yet confirmed whether the body is that of Sherin Mathews, who has been missing since Oct. 7, but they indicated they have no reason to think it is a different child.

The medical examiner will determine the child’s identification and cause of death.

“The indications are that it is most likely her, however, we have not had positive ID.  So until we have a positive identification we are not going to say it is Sherin,” Sgt. Kevin Perlich said.

The body was found about 11 a.m. in a culvert near East Spring Valley and South Bowser roads, east of U.S. Highway 75, with the help of search dogs.

As the investigation continued to unfold, more and more stuff came to [the] surface and we followed up on that,” Perlich said.  “It led to the search of that area with canines, and that’s how we came across the body.”

The area was blocked off as a crime scene as police waited for the FBI response team to process the area.  Late Sunday afternoon, a sheet-covered stretcher was loaded into a waiting van.

Sherin’s parents have been notified of the discovery.

The girl’s adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, was charged with abandoning or endangering a child after Sherin went missing.  He was released from jail after posting bond and was required to wear an electronic monitoring device and surrender his passport.

No additional charges have been filed.

During a court appearance Monday, Sherin’s parents learned that their biological child, a 4-year-old girl, will remain in foster care for another three weeks while Wesley Mathews looks for a civil attorney.

Judge Cheryl Shannon has set a custody hearing for Nov. 13.

FL Women Abuse Special Needs Child

.jpg photo of women accused of abuse of special needs child
Kaderrica Smith, 26 (left), and Alexus Henderson, 19

Day care workers charged after Snapchat video shows taunting, abuse of autistic child

WINTER HAVEN, FL  –  Two child care workers have turned themselves into police after investigators said they were suspected of berating a child with autism in an incident recorded on video, reports CBS affiliate WTSP.

In the video, which was first posted to the social media platform Snapchat, two women who police believe are 26-year-old Kadericca Smith and 19-year-old Alexis Henderson can be seen laughing at the 8-year-old boy inside Our Children’s Academy, in Winter Haven, Florida.

“Chicken, chicken, chicken,” one woman can be heard saying, as the boy comes out from hiding under a desk.

Later, one of the women is seen holding the boy’s arms before apparently swiping his legs from under him.

Police were first made aware of this on Sept. 1 and say in an initial interview, both women “felt they were acting appropriately” and did nothing wrong.  At the time, police hadn’t pressed charges because the Florida Department of Children and Families was still investigating.

Warrants were later issued for the women’s arrest, and they reportedly turned themselves in Friday.

Henderson is charged with child neglect and Smith faces charges of child abuse and battery.  Henderson received bond after being booked into jail, but Smith is being held with bond.

Smith faces charges of child abuse and battery.

Police say the school immediately fired the two women following the incident.  Both also had blocks placed on their certifications so they cannot be employed by other childcare facilities.

The 8-year-old did not require medical attention.

San Antonio Texas Cares For All Children

.jpg photo of area with high Child Abuse
The two-year pilot program will focus on the 78207 zip code.

Program aims to reduce Child Abuse, Neglect

SAN ANTONIO, TX  –  The City of San Antonio approved spending money on a pilot program aimed at reducing the amount of child abuse and neglects cases.

The two-year pilot program will focus on the 78207 zip code, which the state said has the highest number of reports for child abuse in Bexar County.

“You can spot them right away because they’re either quiet or they’re very mean,” said Dolores Sotomayor.  “They’re just rebellious and it’s just anger or hurt that they’re carrying.”

Until two weeks ago, Sotomayor lived in the 78207 zip code.  She has experienced firsthand the dangers of child abuse.  A family member was convicted of sexually assaulting her 14-year-old daughter in 2011.  Sotomayor said they discovered her daughter has been abused when she gave birth to a baby girl.

“It was very difficult, but I had a large support team,” Sotomayor said.

“I believe that making children a priority will be better for the whole city,” said City Council District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales.

Gonzales pushed for the city to invest $260,000 on the two-year child abuse prevention pilot program.

“It involves a promotion program where we will be training community health workers to go out into the neighborhoods and try to address this issue one-on-one,” Gonzales said.

The program will begin when the new budget starts in October.

FL Toddler Outside All Night In Hurricane Irma

.jpg photo of FL town where toddler was left out in Hurricane Irma
A 19-month-old Toddler was left outside all night as Irma hit town.

Toddler left outside overnight during Irma
looked ‘purple’

JASPER, FL  –  A Florida father is accused of leaving his toddler outside as Tropical Storm Irma slammed into the Jasper neighborhood where he lives, according to WCTV.

Police arrested 36-year-old Angelo Mitchell on Monday;  he has been charged with felony child abuse.

The 19-month-old’s mother called police around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night to report the girl missing.  She told police Mitchell had picked up their daughter from her, then returned to her house a couple of hours later without the child.

Mitchell told officers that he had never picked up the girl, but that she was safe and was probably with a family friend, according to a police report.  According to WCTV, investigators noted during the interview that Mitchell smelled of alcohol.

Police tried to track the girl using dogs, but weren’t able to locate her scent in the storm.

Shortly before noon on Monday, someone in the neighborhood found the girl in the yard of a home roughly 450 yards from her house.  The girl’s skin appeared purple, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff, and authorities believe she was exposed to the storm’s pounding rain and fierce gusts the entire night.

She also had numerous scratches and bug bites on her skin, witnesses told WCTV.  The girl was flown to a hospital in Gainesville for treatment.  She was reportedly released in good health Tuesday.

Mitchell is a convicted felon who spent a year in prison after he was convicted of battery in a domestic violence case, according to The Miami Herald.  Records show he’s had three restraining orders issued against him.

Mitchell was arrested and taken to the Hamilton County Jail.