We have a sad but unfortunately not too surprising update in the search for missing child Athena Brownfield.
As we’ve been following, the 4-year-old was reported missing after a postal worker found her 5-year-old sister walking alone outside of their home in Cyril, Oklahoma back on January 10. An investigation was quickly launched to find the little girl, leading to remains being found on January 17. Now the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation can confirm the remains belonged to the little girl.
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On Thursday, the department announced on Facebook:
“The Oklahoma Office of Chief Medical Examiner has positively identified the remains Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) agents recovered on January 17, 2023 as those of Athena Brownfield, 4. Due to a gag order filed in Caddo County District Court, there is no additional comment on the investigation from the OSBI.”
As mentioned, Caddo County District Court Judge David Stephens signed a gag order in the case on Monday, prohibiting law enforcement and attorneys from making any public comments about the investigation.
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Athene was allegedly killed on Christmas Day by her male caregiver, Ivon Adams. He was charged with one count of first-degree murder and child neglect for allegedly beating the young girl to her death. After his January 12th arrest in Arizona, he was transferred to the Caddo County Jail on January 19. Court records show he remains in jail with no bond. His wife, Alysia Adams, was also arrested on January 12 on two counts of child neglect. As we previously reported, the remains were found in the rural area of Grady County, “outside of Rush Springs,” where the couple used to live. Alysia told authorities her husband had admitted to her that he killed Athena and buried her body near a fence line by their old house.
Authorities have not identified the relationship between the girls and the Adamses, other than to confirm they are related to Alysia somehow. Their biological parents and Athena’s sister have been interviewed and are working with authorities, per OSBI. According to an affidavit, the children’s biological mother left them with the couple at least a year ago. During their time with the Adamses, they were never taken to the doctor or enrolled in school. Sadly, it took too long for anyone to notice as these little girls fell through the cracks.
A funeral service was held for Athena on Wednesday, according to KOCO News. You can hear more about the sad ceremony (below).
Such a heartbreaking loss. R.I.P., little Athena…
[Image via Oklahoma Highway Patrol]