A three-year-old India-born girl has gone missing in the US state of Texas after her father told her to stand outside their home in the middle of the night as punishment for not drinking her milk, officials said.
Sherin Mathews was last seen by her father Wesley outside the family's backyard in the 900 block of Sunningdale, the Richardson Police Department wrote on Facebook.
The girl went missing around 3 am on Saturday after her father told her to stand by a tree near an alley outside their home in Dallas as punishment for not finishing her milk, Sgt. Kevin Perlich told Chron.com on Monday morning.
When Wesley Mathews went to check on his daughter roughly 15 minutes later, she was gone. Mathews called the police to report about his missing daughter five hours later.
Perlich said that his response was "concerning", adding, "that does not seem like a normal response that one would do if you have a missing child".
He was arrested on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child on Saturday and was released on bond on Sunday, Perlich said.
Mathews told investigators that coyotes had been seen in the alley, but investigators said there was no indication that one might have dragged the girl away.
Investigators confiscated three vehicles, cellphones and laptops from the family to aid the investigation. Sherin Mathews's older sister was placed in protective custody on Monday as the investigation continued, NBC News reported.
According to a police statement, Sherin suffered from developmental issues and had limited verbal communication skills. She was last seen wearing a pink top, black pyjama bottoms and pink flip flops. The Matthews family adopted the girl from an orphanage in India two years ago.