Oklahoma authorities identify Athena Brownfield remains found near caretaker's home
Oklahoma authorities have identified Athena Brownfield's remains about one month after the 4-year-old's suspected murder on Christmas.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) announced on Jan. 17 that they had "recovered the remains of a child in rural Grady County outside of Rush Springs," where Athena's caretakers used to own property, though OSBI did not confirm the identity of the remains until Thursday after conducting an autopsy.
"The Oklahoma Office of Chief Medical Examiner has positively identified the remains [OSBI] agents recovered on January 17, 2023 as those of Athena Brownfield, 4," OSBI said in a Thursday statement.
Brownfield was initially reported missing on Jan. 10 after a postal carrier found her 5-year-old sister wandering around alone in Cyril, Oklahoma, around 2 p.m. Investigators believe Athena died while under the watch of her caretakers, Ivon and Alysia Adams, on Dec. 25, 2022.
ATHENA BROWNFIELD'S CARETAKER APPEARED TO POST EERIE INSTAGRAM PHOTOS AFTER TODDLER'S SUSPECTED MURDER
Alysia is charged with two counts of child neglect in connection with Athena's disappearance from Cyril, Oklahoma. Ivon Adams is charged with first-degree murder and child neglect in connection with Athena's suspected death.
ATHENA BROWNFIELD: OKLAHOMA AUTHORITIES EXAMINE ID OF CHILD'S REMAINS FOUND NEAR MURDER SUSPECT'S FORMER HOME
"Alysia confessed that on Dec. 25, 2022, around midnight that night, Ivon beat [Athena] and held her by her arms, [Athena] was not moving and her eyes were barely open," Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) Special Agent Brenna Alvarez wrote in a probable cause affidavit filed in Caddo County. "He then laid her on the ground and punched her chest at least more three times after that. [Athena] never moved after that."
The alleged abuse occurred at the Adams' home at 225 West Nebraska Avenue in Cyril, Oklahoma.
MISSING ATHENA BROWNFIELD: ARIZONA AUTHORITIES ARREST 2ND CAREGIVER IN OKLAHOMA TODDLER'S DISAPPEARANCE
Ivon left the residence with Athena afterward and later told Alysia that he buried her near the fence line of their old property in Rush Springs, Oklahoma, according to Alvarez.
Authorities said Athena and her sister called Alysia "Mom" and "Aly." They called Ivon "Uncle Ivon."
OKLAHOMA AUTHORITIES MAKE ARREST IN MISSING TODDLER ATHENA BROWFIELD'S MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE
Ivon Adams fled to Phoenix, Arizona, after the alleged murder. Maricopa County officials arrested him on a charge of acting as a fugitive from justice. He was initially held in Arizona but was transferred back to Caddo County on Thursday.
A man who shares a child with Jasmin Brownfield — Athena's biological mother — who spoke to Fox News Digital on the condition of anonymity said Ivon and Alysia were Jasmin's cousins. He alleged that Jasmin has a history of leaving her children, including their son that she left in his care when the boy was about two years old.
"We had an agreement … and she was like, ‘I just need you to hold on to him for a few months until I get situated,’ and I was like, ‘Alright,’ so I took him, drove him all the way back to Indiana, and for the first one-and-a-half, two months … she just went dead quiet. No responses. Nothing," the man said.
The man filed for full custody of her son soon after that. He also claimed that Athena's adoptive grandparents complained to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (ODHS) about Athena's and her sister's wellbeing last summer. Fox News DIgital has submitted a records request for this communication.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
"I don't want to see [Athena's sister] go through a similar situation. The fact that this has already happened twice — I feel like it would happen a third time if Jasmin was able to get Athena back into her custody. … I don't want a similar thing to happen," the man said.
Anyone with information about the incident asked to contact OSBI at 405-879-2591 or local police.