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Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 1:46 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 1:45 PM
DALLAS — A 3-year-old girl whose body was found in a culvert near her suburban Dallas home little more than a year after she was adopted from an Indian orphanage died from "homicidal violence," according to autopsy findings released Wednesday.
Steven Kurtz with the Dallas County medical examiner's office said Sherin Mathews was a victim of homicide but that he couldn't provide any other details from the autopsy at this point. The Texas attorney general's office must decide whether the full report can be released to the public, he said.
Police in Richardson have released their findings in Sherin's October death to the Dallas County district attorney's office, and a grand jury this month is expected to review charges filed against the girl's adoptive parents, Wesley and Sini Mathews.
The couple is being held at the Dallas County jail: Wesley Mathews is held on a $1 million bond and faces a charge of felony injury to a child, while his wife has a bond of $250,000 on a charge of abandoning a child.
Mitch Nolte, the attorney for Sini Mathews, told WFAA-TV that he's received a copy of the full autopsy report and that nothing in it implicates his client in the girl's death.
An attorney for Wesley Mathews, Rafael De La Garza, did not immediately return a call Wednesday for comment on the autopsy findings.
Wesley Mathews initially told police Sherin disappeared after he punished her by sending her out in the night to stand by a tree near the home.
He later told investigators Sherin had developmental disabilities and was malnourished. He described a special diet regimen in which she had to eat whenever she was awake in order to gain weight.
Mathews said he had been trying to get the girl to drink milk in the garage of their home, according to an arrest affidavit filed by Richardson police.
"Eventually the 3-year-old girl began to drink the milk. Wesley Mathews then physically assisted the 3-year-old girl in drinking the milk," according to the affidavit.
Mathews told police that Sherin choked and coughed and eventually he felt no pulse and believed the child had died. Investigators wrote that he "then admitted to removing the body from the home."
Sherin's disappearance in October generated a broad search involving a number of law enforcement agencies. Her body was found in the culvert Oct. 22.
Richardson police Sgt. Kevin Perlich would not say if additional charges could be forthcoming in light of the autopsy results, explaining that decision would be left to the district attorney's office. A spokeswoman for the office declined to comment.
The couple adopted Sherin in June 2016. Their 4-year-old biological daughter is staying with family in the Houston area.
This story has been corrected to show Sherin's body was found Oct. 22 not 24.
Follow David Warren on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WarrenJourno
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 3:57 PM
SEATTLE — More than a year after it introduced the concept, Amazon opened its artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store in Seattle Monday.
The store on the bottom floor of Amazon’s headquarters billed itself as grocery shopping for the future. It has no registers and no cashiers.
Shoppers have to download the Amazon Go app to scan to get in the door. Once they are inside, the store tracks what they buy through cameras and shelf sensors.
Anything a shopper takes off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything put back is taken out of the cart.
Once shopping in finished, you just walk out the door. You will get a receipt in your app about five minutes later.
The system works by combining computer vision and machine-learning algorithms and sensors.
The Associated Press reported there are people there making food, stocking shelves and helping customers. The store offers ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, as well as some grocery staples like bread, milk, cheese and chocolates. It'll also have Amazon Meal Kits.
KIRO spoke to some of the shoppers who were among the first to experience the store and they seemed to like what they saw.
“It will make it a lot quicker. The biggest reason you don’t want to go to the store is waiting in line so it’s pretty great," Betty Paschke, who lives in Seattle, said.
Tech expert Todd Bishop with Geekwire said the success of the store is yet to be seen and depends on how much the public is willing to let the business track their spending and accounts virtually.
“It basically treats people walking around a physical space exactly like people are tracked online currently,” Bishop saud.
Amazon Go had been open only to Amazon employees since December 2016 to test out the technology.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 11:44 AM
— Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games -- one a comeback, the other a blowout -- gave us the lineup for the Super Bowl that will pit the New England Patriots against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Quarterback Tom Brady, with 12 stitches in his hand, led the Patriots in a 24-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars to put them in the Super Bowl for a record 10th time.
Philadelphia didn’t need a comeback, the Eagles dominated the Minnesota Vikings after the Vikings' touchdown on the opening drive, winning the NFC championship 38-7.
Super Bowl LII (52), with all its pageantry, commercials and parties, is set for Feb. 4
Here’s how to watch Super Bowl LII:
When: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018
Who: The New England Patriots vs. the Philadelphia Eagles
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
National anthem: Pink will sing the national anthem
Halftime entertainment: Justin Timberlake will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show
What time: 6:30 p.m. ET
What channel: NBC will broadcast the game
Odds: The Patriots are favored by five points, according to OddsShark.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 3:58 PM
DELEON SPRINGS, Fla. — A cigarette butt left at a home that was burglarized during Hurricane Irma led to the arrest of a Florida woman and her alleged accomplice, sheriff officials said.
Cassandra Taylor, 32, was arrested after deputies said she burglarized and ransacked a DeLeon Springs home on Billings Avenue in Volusia County last Sept. during the emergency evacuation caused by Hurricane Irma.
The victim told deputies they’d evacuated their home ahead of Irma on Sept. 9 and when he returned home he found couches in the living room overturned and sliced open, his bedroom drawers opened and several items missing from the house.
Among the stolen items were six purses, 31 pairs of jeans, six pairs of sneakers, 50 chair covers, a DVD player and a piggy bank full of money.
Deputies couldn't figure out who committed the burglary until investigators received information during a different burglary investigation that Taylor and another possible suspect may have burglarized the home.
Investigators recently received DNA results from a cigarette butt found on the bedroom floor, which matched Taylor.
Sheriff officials said Taylor confessed to the burglary.
Because the incident occurred during a state of emergency, Taylor faces an enhanced charge of burglary to a dwelling during a state of emergency, as well as a charge of grand theft.
Deputies said Oscar Bravo, 25, was arrested Sunday evening and was also charged with burglary.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:33 AM
— The story of an Ohio woman who allegedly died during a trip to Graceland has taken another surprising twist.
Phillip Snider, the husband at the center of the investigation, told investigators in Benton County, Tennessee that he dumped his wife’s body in the Tennessee River, according to WBBJ.
Phillip and his wife, Roberta, left their Ohio home to visit Graceland, but she never came home. He told police his wife was in poor health and this was supposed to be their last trip.
Phillip Snider originally told police his wife died of natural causes in a hotel parking lot across from Graceland. He said they found an ambulance nearby and emergency workers told him they were taking her to a hospital.
However, there is no record of her body in Tennessee, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Phillip didn’t know the name of the ambulance company or the hospital. As he returned home to Ohio, his story was brought into question.
Investigators in both Tennessee and Ohio have been trying to piece together the mystery.
In an interview with WBBJ, Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher revealed a conversation between Phillip Snider and investigators.
“He says he put her body in plastic and disposed of her body over this bridge,” Christopher told the Jackson-based TV station.
The sheriff said Phillip claims his wife had cancer and died “somewhere in Kentucky.” He allegedly continued to Memphis, stayed the night and dumped her body in the Tennessee River on the way home.
Roberta Snider’s body has not been recovered.