Remains of Athena Brownfield, missing Oklahoma 4-year-old, positively identified
Child remains that were found last week in Oklahoma have been positively identified as Athena Brownfield, a 4-year-old who had been missing for several weeks, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday. The girl's two caretakers were arrested earlier this month in connection with her disappearance.
The remains were found in Rush Springs, Oklahoma, on Jan. 17, one week after the search for the missing toddler began.
"Due to a gag order filed in Caddo County District Court, there is no additional comment on the investigation from the OSBI," the bureau said.
The search for Brownfield began Jan. 10, when a mail carrier found Brownfield's 5-year-old sister playing alone on the street. On Jan. 16, OSBI declared the search a "recovery operation."
The girls' caretakers, 31-year-old Alysia Adams, and her husband, 36-year-old Ivon Adams, have both been arrested in connection with Brownfield's death. Ivon Adams is facing one count each of first-degree murder and child neglect. Alysia Adams is charged with child abuse and neglect.
According to court documents, Alysia Adams — who OSBI has said is a relative of the two girls — had been watching the children for about two years after their biological mother, Jasmin Brownfield, left them in her care.
Alysia Adams confessed that around midnight on Christmas Day, Ivon Adams beat Athena Brownfield and held her up by her arms until she stopped moving, court documents said. Then he punched the toddler three times in the chest and left the house around 1 a.m. on Dec. 26, the documents allege. He returned sometime later, telling his wife he buried Athena Brownfield near the fence line near their old residence in Rush Springs, according to the documents. He placed a large broken branch over the burial site, the documents said.
Both were arrested Jan. 11. Alysia Adams was arrested in Oklahoma, while Ivon Adams was taken into custody in Arizona, but has since been extradited back to Oklahoma.
The sister who was found by the mail carrier was placed in protective custody, OSBI previously said.
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