Caretaker of Missing 4-Year-Old Is Arrested

Search continues for Athena Brownfield around Cyril, Oklahoma
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2023 6:17 AM CST
Caretaker of Missing 4-Year-Old Is Arrested
Athena Brownfield   (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)

Oklahoma police are searching for a 4-year-old girl who was reported missing Tuesday after her 5-year-old sister was found wandering alone in Cyril. A postal worker spotted the 5-year-old and called police, who charged 31-year-old Alysia Adams with two counts of neglect on Thursday. Police say the two girls were under the care of Adams and her husband when the elder sister was located near Adams' home, per ABC News. She is now in state protective custody. Police have been unable to locate her sister, Athena Brownfield, with officers trying to determine when the girl was last seen. A Caddo County Sheriff's deputy has said the girl may have disappeared as early as Jan. 6, per Fox News.

"Right now our top priority is locating her and sorting out who's responsible will come next," Brook Arbeitman of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation tells ABC, adding the location of the parents is "part of the ongoing investigation." A Facebook post purportedly from Athena's family claims the girls were being cared for by relatives who left them unsupervised, per Fox. Arbeitman said the search for Athena—3 feet tall, 45 pounds, with light brown hair, blue eyes, and "limited verbal skills," last known to be wearing a pink butterfly sweater and pink pants—involves dogs, drones, sonar, and hundreds of volunteers. "We are finding things that we hope might give us clues," items that "could be relevant," she said. (Read more missing child stories.)

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