The female caretaker of a missing 4-year-old girl allegedly witnessed her husband beating the child to death on Christmas. Even as victim Athena Brownfield, 4, was no longer moving and her eyes were “barely open,” male caretaker Ivon Adams, 36, “punched her at least three more times in the chest,” co-defendant Alysia Adams, 31, allegedly told police, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by KFOR.
Authorities previously announced the worst possible news in their search for the missing child: the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation believed she was dead, and they were now looking for her body.
“The search for missing Cyril four-year-old Athena Brownfield is now considered a recovery operation,” the OSBI wrote Monday night. “Special Agents from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, along with our partners at the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), have been searching areas of Caddo County for the toddler’s remains.”
Meanwhile, her caretakers — the Adams couple — are in separate jails, charged in connection with her disappearance.
“I need to get there and fight this,” Ivon Adams said in an Arizona courtroom on Friday, waiving extradition back to Oklahoma, according to KOCO. He faces a count each of murder in the first degree and child neglect.
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Wife Alysia Adams is still in the Caddo County Jail in Oklahoma, facing two counts of child neglect regarding Brownfield and the child’s 5-year-old sister. The girls have been in the Adams’ care for at least a year, the OSBI said. Alysia is a relative of theirs, they said.
“The girls biological parents have been interviewed by agents and are cooperating with the investigation,” investigators wrote.
The biological mother left the kids with Alysia and Ivon for one-and-a-half to two years, according to the affidavit in the KFOR report. But the couple allegedly never took the girls to the doctor or put the elder sister in school.
Brownfield’s disappearance surfaced after a postal worker on Jan. 10. saw her 5-year-old sister wandering alone outside.
“Alysia and Ivon Adams were Athena’s caretakers when she disappeared,” authorities have written. “Athena’s five-year-old sister was also in their care. She was located Tuesday, January 10, 2023, near the Adams’ residence at 225 W. Nebraska in Cyril. A postal carrier found the child and notified local police that she was unattended. The five-year-old is in protective custody.”
Brownfield’s sister told the postal carrier she “had been home alone and she is tired of being alone,” according to the affidavit.
Cops got involved. They contacted Alysia and asked her for Brownfield’s whereabouts.
Adams allegedly confessed to knowing that the child was dead. The fatal beating happened around midnight on Christmas, she said in the reported affidavit. Ivon struck Brownfield, holding her up by the arms. The child was no longer moving and “her eyes were barely open.”
Even then, Ivon allegedly put her on the ground and “punched her at least three more times in the chest,” Alysia alleged. Brownfield never moved again.
Alysia Adams allegedly said that Ivon told her that he buried the child’s body near a fence line by their old property in Grady County, the documents reportedly state.
NCMEC have described Brownfield as standing 3-feet tall and weighing 45 pounds. She had brown hair and blue eyes.
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“The OSBI is asking that the public not self-deploy to search for Athena,” authorities said. “Individuals who search for Athena on their own could be trespassing or worse, interfering with the investigation by contaminating potential evidence.”
Authorities ask that anyone with information on this case contact the OSBI tipline (800) 522-8017 or email [email protected]
“You cant remain anonymous,” they wrote.
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