Authorities have found the body of a small child in Texas and they believe it is "most likely" missing three-year-old Sherin Mathews.

Police in Richardson announced on Sunday (22 October) they had found the body during search efforts for the missing toddler. According to CSB DFW, police found the body near Spring Valley Road and Bowser Road in a culvert around 11am local time on Sunday.

The little girl has been missing since 7 October, when her father reportedly sent her outside around 3am as punishment for not drinking her milk.

According to police, Wesley Mathews told authorities his daughter was placed near a tree in an alleyway where coyotes are known to roam. Sherin's father claimed that when he returned for her 15 minutes later, he could not find her.

Wesley was arrested for child endangerment but has since been released on bond, CBS reported. He is wearing an ankle monitor.

During the investigation, police seized various items from both the family's home and vehicles. Sherin's parents are due in court on Monday to regain custody of her four-year-old sister, who was removed from the home by Child Protective Services.

Authorities are waiting for confirmation from the medical examiner on the identity of the body that was found. A cause of death has not been identified.