Vigil honors missing 3-year-old while police continue search

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A vigil was held Friday night at the Richardson home where a 3-year-old girl went missing.

Flowers and notes stand as a tribute in hopes of Sherin Mathews’ safe return. She was last seen Saturday morning at 3 a.m., according to her adoptive father.

Wesley Mathews told police he left Sherin by a tree in the alley as punishment for not drinking her milk. When he returned about 15 minutes later he said she was gone.

Police now believe the Mathews’ maroon Acura SUV was gone from the house between 4 and 5 a.m. The SUV was seized for evidence and investigators are looking for surveillance video to determine where it went.

Detectives are asking for the public's help within a 30-mile radius.

“We'd like these businesses— I know they may be busy. But if they can take a few minutes to just go check their systems to see if they can pick up the car that matches the description were looking for,” said Richardson Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich. “We’re coming up on a deadline of about a week. Often times, video overwrites, and we don’t want that to happen.”

Many shop owners in a plaza near the neighborhood say they've talked to detectives but don’t have cameras that face the street.

One neighbor said his security camera points towards the back alley and captured what he believes is Wesley’s SUV leaving the neighborhood Saturday morning. The neighbor says he shared the video with police.

A tip Friday afternoon led police to the Restland Cemetery less than two miles from the Mathews home, but Richardson PD says the tip was not credible and nothing of interest was found.

 A large group of strangers and friends attended the Friday vigil. But noticeably absent from the vigil were Sherin’s parents, who have yet to speak publicly about their daughter's disappearance. It prompted attendees to make signs like “stop hiding” and “bring her peace."

“Wish they would come out and tell the truth,” Diana Delgado said. “Just tell the truth so everyone can move on and have peace.”

But the hope is still that Sherin will be found soon.  

“The fact that the mom isn't even helping definitely frustrates me,” said Kim McManus. “The story just doesn’t add up. And when you don’t cooperate, it hurts cause were afraid. But I’m just continuing to hold on to hope.”

The community vigil came as police continue to check out tips about Sherin's whereabouts with no help from her parents.

“We've reached out to the mother and the attorney,” said Richardson Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich. “And they've refused to speak to us any further.”

Investigators have not said what, if anything, the FBI uncovered when they searched the Mathews home Tuesday evening. It was just a day after the dad bonded out of jail on a child endangerment charge.

The little girl’s father didn’t report her missing until 8 a.m. that morning. He admitted to doing laundry before calling for help, police said.

Wesley’s wife was reportedly sleeping at the time that Sherin disappeared. The couple’s biological 4-year-old daughter was removed from the home.

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