In early October, a Texas man told police his adopted daughter vanished after he left her alone in an alley at 3 a.m. as a punishment when she wouldn’t drink her milk.

Wesley Mathews said that when he came back to the alley — an area where coyotes were known to roam — 15 minutes later, she was gone, as previously reported by Dearly.

He waited five hours before he reported his 3-year-old adopted daughter, Sherin Mathews, missing.

But police said his story fell apart when the toddler was found dead in a ditch two weeks later.

The next day, Mathews had something new to tell police when he walked into the station. He claimed the girl refused to listen to him, then she choked to death on the milk when he “physically assisted” her with it.

According to NBC DFW, the man removed her lifeless body from the house. He said he intended to go back later and give her a proper burial.

Now, the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office has confirmed Sherin’s death was a homocide, and that she died of “homicidal violence,” NBC DFW reports.

The report added that details on the autopsy and toxicology reports have also been released.

Mathews is facing a charge of first-degree felony injury to a child with intent to commit serious bodily injury, which is punishable with a sentence of up to life in prison. His bond was set at $1 million after his arrest.

Sherin’s mother, Sini Mathews, who told police she was sleeping when her daughter disappeared, was also put behind bars after the 4-year-old’s death.

She was charged with child endangerment/abandoning for allegedly leaving Sherin home alone while she went to dinner with her husband and the couple’s biological daughter on Oct. 6, the night before she was reported missing.

According to NBC DFW:

Sini Mathews’ attorney Mitch Notle told NBC 5 that nothing in the autopsy or toxicology reports implicate Sini in the toddler’s death.

Even though the girl’s adoptive parents remain behind bars, they are still fighting to get custody back of their 4-year-old biological daughter, who was placed in state care following their arrests. She had been living temporarily with family members.

The couple’s next court date on custody of their daughter is set for Jan. 26.

See more on the story below:

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