Police in Richardson, Texas, stated at a news conference on Sunday afternoon that authorities discovered a body of a small child in a culvert less than a mile from the home of missing three-year-old toddler Sharin Mathews. Sherin, who was adopted from India, has been missing since October 7 when 37-year-old Wesley Mathews took her outside at 3 AM to discipline her for not drinking her milk. He reported her missing to police 5 hours later.

Identification of the child’s body is pending results from the medical examiner, Sergeant Kevin Perlich stated and the BBC reported.

The body was found near a road less than 1km (or mile) from where Sherin Mathews disappeared. The toddler has special needs, which have only been described as limited verbal skills and developmental issues, police stated in earlier media reports.

Missing toddler’s parents notified by police search led to a child’s body

Perlich said police accompanied by canines found the body during a search in the area at approximately 11 AM and that “the indications are that it’s most likely” Sherin Mathews, according to a report today by People. Perlich also stated that, while positive identification is pending, Sherin Mathews’ parents were notified that a child’s body was discovered yesterday.

Perlich, who is the Richardson Police Department Public Information Officer, explained that law enforcement decided to search the area of East Spring Valley Road and South Bowser Road as a result of information authorities obtain in the course of their investigation into the toddler’s disappearance.

“It led to the search of that area with canines,” he told People.

Toddler’s father already faces criminal charges related to disappearance

The toddler’s father was arrested and charged the same day as his daughter disappeared. He stands accused of child abandonment or endangerment. Mathews has not had been in court regarding the criminal charge.

People sought comment from Rafael De La Garza, Mathews’ lawyer, but he did not respond in a timely manner.

After Mathews arrest, police stated that the criminal accusation against Mathews stemmed from “his decision” to leave his small daughter “outside a place of safety. According to his own account, detailed in an affidavit, Mathews told police that he saw coyotes in the area where he left his little girl at 3 AM.

Little girl’s father going to prison when convicted

Chad Rubak, a Dallas-area appellate lawyer who is not connected to the case, told NewsFix earlier this month, that there is no doubt that Mathews will be convicted and going to prison. The only thing not know is the duration of that prison sentence. “He stupidly admitted that he knew there were coyotes” in the area by the tree – located roughly 100 feet behind the Mathews’ family home – where he told his child to stay after she refused to drink some milk.

The outcome of statements Mathews made to law enforcement, detailed in the court affidavit, have placed the little girl’s father “front and center,” according to NewsFix. The act and admission of “leaving a child in imminent danger,” Rubak stated, “could mean up to 20 years” in prison for Mathews.

CPS took toddler’s older sister from family’s home

The toddler’s four-year-old sister was removed from the Mathews’ home by Texas Child Protective Services not long after Sherin disappeared. Due to confidentiality and privacy restraints, CPS has not commented on the reason for taking the Mathews’ slightly older daughter or on past involvement with the family. Sherin’s sister has been placed in foster care, at least for now.