Police investigate whether remains of child are that of missing 4-year-old

Athena Brownfield believed to have been beaten to death on Christmas

(Photo of Athena provided by Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)

Authorities in Oklahoma say they have found the remains of a child, and investigators are now trying to determine if the remains belong to a missing 4-year-old girl who is believed to have been murdered on Christmas Day.

Police began looking for Athena Brownfield last week after a postal worker spotted her 5-year-old sister wandering alone outside their home.

Court documents indicate one of Athena’s caregivers, Ivon Adams, allegedly beat the child to death on Christmas night, and then buried her remains near their old home.

Police have charged Adams and his wife, Alysia, in connection with the girl’s disappearance.

According to an arrest affidavit, Alysia told police that her husband beat Athena and “held her up by her arms.” The report states that Athena was “not moving and her eyes were barely open.”

Police said Alysia Adams said Ivon Adams then “laid (Athena) on the ground and punched her at least three more times in the chest.”

According to a CNN report, Ivon Adams was arrested Thursday in Arizona and is charged with first-degree murder and felony child neglect.

Alysia Adams is charged with two counts of felony child neglect for “failing to protect (Athena) from physical abuse,” the charging document states.

According to documents, Athena and her sister’s biological mother left them in the care of the Adams’ about two years ago.

CNN reported that the couple is accused of not taking the sisters to the doctor for check-ups and they didn’t enroll Athena’s older sister in school.

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.