A family member of the defendants arrested in connection with the death of Oklahoma girl Athena Brownfield is hoping that her surviving sister is taken “away from extended family.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, caregiver Alysia Adams was arrested earlier in Oklahoma, and Ivon Adams was arrested later that day in Phoenix. Both were charged with child neglect, but Ivon Adams was also charged with “child homicide.”
Court documents indicate that Ivon Williams is accused of killing Athena by beating her. Her 5-year-old sister was also in the care of the defendants but is now in state custody with children’s services.
According to 9 News, an unidentified family member of Alysia Adams said that he’s pushing for Athena’s sister to be removed from Oklahoma and taken away from a reported dysfunctional family unit.
“Away from extended family, absolutely out of Oklahoma,” the man said.
The source added that he was removed from his biological family at age four, which ended up being a positive influence on him growing up. Defendant Alysia Adams, he said, struggled to find herself with a lot of “hurt, a lot of insecurities” while growing up.
“We were just blessed, we’re not better people than them, it’s the grace of God, circumstance, and a person is a product of their environment,” he said.
Despite her family past, the man said there was no indication that Alysia Adams would do what she is accused of.
“Alysia was by all appearances a normal, healthy, psychologically hinged girl, whose parents had split up, who had some family with drama, but no indication of what would happen,” he said.
Athena was reported missing at around 2 p.m. on January 11 after a mail carrier reported seeing her sister unattended, walking outside alone in Cyril.
Police later found a child’s body that they believe to be Athena “near a fence line that was next to their old residence in Rush Springs,” about 15 miles away from Cyril, an affidavit says.
Court documents state that Alysia told investigators that Ivon beat Athena to death at about midnight on December 25.
After the beating, the little girl “was not moving and her eyes were barely open,” an affidavit says. Ivon “then laid her on the ground and punched her at least three more times in the chest.” She “never moved after that,” Alysia told the investigators.
Alysia also told investigators that Ivon left with the girl’s body at about 1 a.m. on December 26, then returned and told her he’d marked the grave, on property in Rush Springs he once owned, with a broken branch.
Ivon Adams waived his extradition, saying he wanted to get back to Oklahoma “and fight this.”
Alysia Adams, meanwhile, is jailed in Caddo County, Oklahoma. She was formally charged with two counts of child neglect — one for failure to supervise the 5-year-old and the other for failure to protect Athena from her husband.
She’s been given a $500,000 bond with restrictions if it’s posted, according to KOCO.
The OSBI has said the girls and the Adamses are related, but they have not described that relationship. The affidavit said that the girls’ biological mother left the children with the couple 1 1/2 to 2 years ago.
Both the children’s biological parents have been cooperating, the OSBI said.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.
[Featured image: Athena Brownfield/Handout]
Additional reporting by KC Wildmoon