Man charged with murder in disappearance of 4-year-old Oklahoma girl Athena Brownfield

A man behind bars in Arizona has been charged with murder in connection with the disappearance of Athena Brownfield, a 4-year-old Oklahoma girl who was supposed to be in his care when she went missing earlier this week.

Ivon Adams, 36, was initially arrested on Thursday on a count of felony child neglect, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said. On Friday, he was also hit with a count of first-degree murder, but authorities have not yet said what prompted the additional charge.

Adams, who is awaiting extradition to Oklahoma, was being held on Saturday at the Maricopa County jail in Phoenix.

His wife, Alysia Adams, was also taken into custody on Thursday in connection with the case. She was arrested on two counts of child neglect, and she was jailed in Oklahoma’s Caddo County.

Authorities first learned of Athena’s disappearance after a postal worker spotted her 5-year-old sister walking alone near their home in Cyril, about 70 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. The little girl was reported missing on Tuesday and authorities have been searching for clues ever since.

Their efforts have grown to include a helicopter, boats, all-terrain vehicles and a specially trained ground team in addition to scores of volunteers. Officers were additionally reviewing tips, many of which have come from out of state, and continued to comb through surveillance footage from around the city.

The city of Cyril has also suspended trash service amid the investigation.

Athena, who has blonde hair and blue eyes, was last spotted wearing a blue butterfly hoodie. Authorities were still working to pull together a timeline of her whereabouts in the days and hours leading up to her disappearance.