Remains Identified as Missing 4-Year-Old

Prosecutors say Athena Brownfield was beaten to death on Christmas Day
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2023 7:08 PM CST
Updated Jan 27, 2023 7:01 AM CST
Remains Found in Search for Missing 4-Year-Old
In this image provided by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, troopers search a pond near Cyril, Okla, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, for Athena Brownfield.   (Trooper Eric Foster/Oklahoma Highway Patrol via AP)
UPDATE Jan 27, 2023 7:01 AM CST

Authorities in Oklahoma have confirmed that a body found last week is that of missing 4-year-old girl Athena Brownfield. She was reported missing on Jan. 10, when a postal worker found her 5-year-old sister wandering unattended outside a home, but prosecutors say she was beaten to death on Christmas Day by Ivon Adams, one of her guardians. He has been charged with first-degree murder and his wife, Alysia Adams, has been charged with child neglect. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner's office identified the remains as Athena's, NBC reports. The agency said it couldn't comment further due to a gag order filed in Caddo County District Court.

Jan 17, 2023 7:08 PM CST

A heartbreaking find has been made in the search for Athena Brownfield, a 4-year-old girl whose sister was found wandering alone in an Oklahoma town last week. Authorities say the remains of a child have been found in Rush Springs, around 15 miles from Cyrus, where a postal worker called police after seeing Athena's 5-year-old sister. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said the remains will be taken to the medical examiner's office in Oklahoma City for identification, NBC reports. reports. "This is (an) active homicide investigation and until the remains are positively identified, the OSBI will not be commenting further," the agency said.

Prosecutors say Athena was beaten to death on Christmas Day by one of her caretakers, according to court papers released Tuesday. An arrest affidavit states that Alysia Adams told investigators that husband Ivon Adams beat the girl around midnight, the Oklahoman reports. The child was "not moving and her eyes were barely open," she said, according to the affidavit. "He then laid her on the ground and punched her at least three more times in her chest." Alysia Adams said he left the home around 1am and later told her "that he buried her near a fence line that was next to their old residence in Rush Springs," the affidavit states.

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Ivon Adams, 36, was arrested in Arizona last week on charges of murder and child neglect and is awaiting extradition to Oklahoma, the AP reports. Alysia Adams, 31, is jailed on child neglect charges in Oklahoma. The OSBI say the sisters are related to Alysia Adams and their biological mother left them with the couple 18 months to 2 years ago. "The girls' biological parents have been interviewed by agents and are cooperating with the investigation," the agency said. The 5-year-old girl, who has been placed in protective custody, told investigators that the sisters called the Adamses "mom and dad" or "Aly and Uncle Ivon." (More Oklahoma stories.)

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