Sherin's mother Sini is not a person of interest in the disappearance, as she was reportedly sleeping at the time Mathews punished his daughter and during the five hours before her husband called the police.
The 37-year-old told police the child was malnourished when they adopted her, and she often snacked at night so it wasn't unusual for her to be up and about at this time.
Mathews said he checked on Sherin 15 minutes later, but she was nowhere to be found. Police subsequently arrested Mathews and charged him with "abandoning or endangering a child".
"She is approximately 36" tall and weighs about 22 pounds.
The girl has "developmental issues and has limited verbal communication skills, police said".
Investigators say 3-year-old Sherin Mathews was last seen by her father around 3 a.m.in Richardson, Texas, according to KXAS.
Sherin was last seen wearing black pajama bottoms and a pink top.
"If anyone has any information on her whereabouts, they are asked to contact us at 972-744-4800". The police department did not return the Daily News' request for comment.
Mathews was later released on bond, the spokesperson says.
In a police interview, he told officials that he saw coyotes in an alley where he saw Sherin.
"I'm a mom of four kids", said one woman who spent the day searching.
Texas Child Protective Services had taken a 4-year-old from the home Monday morning, Perlich added to the publication. CPS spokeswoman, Marissa Gonzales, indicated that the agency dealt with the family before, but she declined to described why. Richardson police confiscated the family's burgundy vehicle in the driveway.
"That does not seem like a normal response that one would do if you have a missing child", Perlich said. He told cops that he searched the area near his home but couldn't find her. "Those thorough searches involved the use of Reverse 911, trained search experts utilizing K-9 teams, helicopters and door to door canvassing", said the Richardson Police Department in a Facebook post.
CBS DFW reports that the Wesleys are no longer cooperating with law enforcement.