RICHARDSON, Texas - The Richardson mother of a girl found dead has formally heard the charges against her.
Sini Mathews was arraigned in a room at the jail Friday morning. The judge was at Richardson Municipal Court and conducted the arraignment through a video conference.
The purpose of the proceeding was to read Mathews her rights and tell her the charge she faces, which is child endangerment. The judge also formally set her bail at $250,000.
Sini now joins her husband, Wesley Mathews, at the Dallas County Jail. She did not respond to reporter questions as she was escorted to the jail.
Dallas County Sheriff's Office says Sini is not on suicide watch but is being kept away from the general population and is under behavioral observation.
Police arrested Mathews Thursday afternoon. They said the charge against her does not directly tie her to the death of her adopted daughter, 3-year-old Sherin Mathews.
But based on the investigation, police determined Sherin’s mother and father left her home alone the night before she allegedly died.
"It's not necessarily related to her death,” explained Richardson PD Sgt. Kevin Perlich. “It's related to the care that she was given while in that home."
Court records state Sini and Wesley Mathews went to a Garland restaurant for dinner with their 4-year-old biological daughter on Oct. 7. Sherin was left behind at the family’s home for about an hour and a half reportedly because she would not drink her milk.
"The fact that the Mathews family went out to dinner Friday evening, left Sherin behind without any type of adult supervision or anything like that before they returned home to her,” Perlich said. “It was later then, Saturday, early Saturday morning that her father says he placed her by that back gate, which we all know did not happen."
The next night Wesley Mathews falsely reported his daughter was missing. Her body was found dumped in a culvert near the family’s home on Oct. 22.
Sherin’s father then told police that she had choked on some milk in front of him and died. He admitted to moving her body.
Wesley Mathews remains in jail on a felony injury to a child charge. The couple’s older daughter remains in foster care. The next hearing for her custody will be on November 29.
Richardson police said the case is still very active and additional charges against Sini and Wesley Mathews are possible.
Detectives are waiting on the results of Sherin’s autopsy, which should provide more clues about the circumstances surrounding her death.