Police released 3-year-old Sherin Mathew’s cause of death Wednesday after the missing Texas toddler’s body was found in October. Richardson Police Department

After more than two weeks of searching, investigators finally located the body of missing Texas toddler Sherin Mathews Sunday. The 3-year-old was found in a drainage ditch not far from her family’s home in Richardson, Texas.

Along with the help of search and rescue dogs, police were able to locate the girl “a ways into the culvert.” Her identity was confirmed through dental records. Days after finding her body, one of the volunteers involved in the search spoke to reporters about the experience.

“I started doing this a long time ago in the military,” Jerry Seevers, one of the K9 handlers who helped discover Sherin’s body, told KXAS-TV. “There was always a sense of bringing somebody home was something good.”

Seevers is part of the nonprofit MARK 9 Search and Rescue, a team of 15 volunteers who worked alongside law enforcement to look for Sherin. On the morning the girl’s body was discovered, five pairs of volunteers and dogs from the group were involved in the search. One of the dogs led her handler to a field near the Mathews home before taking them to the drainage area she was found, Seevers said.

“She started doing it from a long way off,” he said of the dog. “And it wasn’t an area she was supposed to be looking in, but that’s how it concluded. She found her way there. One of the things we have to do is we have to believe in them and she took us there.”

Sherin’s father, Wesley Mathews, was arrested after he voluntarily arrived at the police station the day after her body was found. Despite a previous statement saying she’d gone missing after he left her outside as punishment, he told police Monday he watched the girl choke to death on her milk and then removed her body from the home. Police had not yet released a cause of death.

“You’re still dealing with the loss,” Seevers told KXAS. “It’s not ours particularly, but once you’re involved, you’re involved. It becomes a part of you.”

Community members gathered Wednesday to mourn the little girl. Some expressed skepticism over the father’s changing stories. Others honored Sherin’s memory with makeshift memorials and flowers.

“Being able to bring closure, whether it’s a good closure or one you’re not expecting, to me, is very rewarding,” Chris Holmberg, a finance professional who volunteered to look for the little girl, told KXAS.

Wesley Mathews remained behind bars in Dallas County Jail on charges of felony injury to a child. Should he be convicted, he could face life in prison.