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No breakthrough yet in tracing missing Indian toddler in US

Friday, Oct 20, 2017,18:14 IST By anju A A A

Houston | The FBI has seized multiple items including hair-like fibres, cellphones, laptops, a washer and a dryer from the home of a 3-year-old Indian girl who mysteriously disappeared nearly two weeks ago in Richardson city in the US state of Texas, media reports said today.

Sherin Mathews vanished on October 7 after her adoptive father Wesley Mathews told police he left her outside their home at 3 am as punishment for not drinking her milk.

While a breakthrough is yet to be made, seized inventory lists show that FBI detectives took DNA swabs, grass, debris and receipts from three vehicles that belong to the Indian- origin parents of the missing girl.

They also took a flash drive, seat belt and radio equipment from the family’s Sports Utility Vehicle, Fox News reported.

Items taken from the Mathews home between October 8 and October 13 include a vacuum and trash bags, hair fibers, blankets and sheets, shoes, multiple cellphones and laptops, financial and identification records, several wooden spoons and the family’s washer and dryer.

A radio module, display monitor and a seat belt were obtained from the Acura SUV that was missing the morning Sherin went missing.

The maroon SUV, which belongs to Sherin’ adoptive parents, was not at their home October 7 between 4 and 5 the morning her father said she disappeared after he put her outside as punishment, police said.

Court records show a navigation unit likely from the Acura was sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia.

“Even if you didn’t plug in an address and say make a right or a left, it’s still recording where you were going,” Attorney Bree West, a former Dallas County assistant district attorney who is not involved in the case, said.

“And it’s also going to pinpoint where you stopped.” She says most of the items collected at the Richardson home were pretty standard. But some items that stood out to her were: a blue string, dark hair-like fibers, vacuum contents, two yellow gloves, dish scrubber inside two grocery bags and the washer and dryer.

Investigators are still looking for possible surveillance footage of the Acura SUV leaving the home of Sherin, as they try to determine who was driving it.

Wesley has since been arrested, and bonded out, on a charge of child endangerment and ordered to wear an ankle monitor as the investigation continues.

Detectives have not said whether Wesley is a suspect, but they have cleared his wife Sini Mathews. Police previously said she was asleep and unaware her husband had made their daughter stand outside as punishment.

So far, tips from the public have not led to any definitive clues that could lead police to Sherin.