Remains found in Oklahoma identified as missing 4-year-old girl

Remains found in Oklahoma identified as missing 4-year-old girl

Remains found last week had been positively identified as those of a missing 4-year-old Oklahoma girl, Athena Brownfield.

The Oklahoma Office of Chief Medical Examiner announced the positive identification on Jan. 26 after authorities recovered her remains on Jan. 17 from a site in rural Grady County.

On Jan. 10, investigators and volunteers launched a search for Athena after a postal worker saw her 5-year-old sister on her own. The girl’s older sister was found wandering near the sisters’ home in Cyril, a town some 65 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. Agency spokesperson Brook Arbeitman said the surviving girl has since been placed into state protective custody.

Two days after Athena’s disappearance, Alysia Adams, 31, and her husband, Ivon Adams, 36, were arrested in connection with the case.

According to NBC News, Alysia Adams is related to the sisters who were both in her care for the past year.

Ivon Adams, who has been described as a caregiver of Athena, was arrested in Phoenix. He faces one count of child neglect and one count of first-degree murder, the state bureau said. NBC affiliate KFOR of Oklahoma City reports that he waived extradition and is in jail in Oklahoma.

Alysia Adams was arrested at the Grady County Sheriff’s Office and is being detained in the Caddo County Jail.

Arrest affidavits for the husband and wife said that Alysia Adams spoke to a state bureau special agent and claimed her husband beat Athena to death on Christmas and buried her body near an old residence in Rush Springs.

The state bureau has said that the two sisters’ biological parents have complied with the investigation and have been interviewed by agents.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation did not provide additional comment on the investigation per a gag order filed in Caddo County District Court, which will prevent law enforcement from making public statements regarding the investigation.

The search for Athena, who had limited verbal skills, has been a widespread effort.

Six days after she went missing, investigators said their search for Athena had become a “recovery operation” for her body. According to NBC News, authorities stretched the search for her to neighboring Grady County, looking for her in ponds and other bodies of water.

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