The search for missing Oklahoma girl, Athena Brownfield, is now a “recovery operation,” according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
OSBI announced this week that the search continues for 4-year-old Athena’s remains with the assistance of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP). Athena was reported missing at around 2 p.m. on January 11 after a mail carrier reported seeing her 5-year-old sibling unattended, walking outside alone in Cyril.
Investigators said caregiver Alysia Adams was supposed to be watching the children at the time; police arrested her last week on two counts of child neglect related to the treatment of Athena and her sister.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, police also arrested Adams’ husband, Ivon Adams, last week in Phoenix. The initial Arizona court filing says that evidence of “child homicide” was found on his cell phone. He’s now facing first-degree murder and child neglect charges, Oklahoma’s News 4 reports.
“At this time, these are accusations and neither party has been convicted of any crime related to this investigation,” OSBI said. “The parties are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
The children’s parents have been interviewed, and according to police, they’ve been cooperative so far.
Little information has been released regarding the parents, but OSBI spokesperson Brook Arbeitman said during a Monday press conference that authorities will “get to that when the time’s right.”
At this time, OSBI requests that the public not “self-deploy” to help with the search. They’re also asking the public to stay away from online rumors.
“Please refrain from speculation regarding what the investigation has revealed to this point. Rumors on social media will not help the investigation and may instead hinder progress,” OSBI said.
Meanwhile, the 5-year-old is now in the care of children’s services.
Anyone with information about the case should call the OSBI tipline at (800) 522-8017 or email email@example.com. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: L-R, Ivon Adams/Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Athena Brownfield/Cyril Police Department, Alysia Adams/Caddo County Sheriff’s Offfice]