Desperate search is launched for four-year-old Athena Brownfield in Oklahoma

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Police have launched a desperate search for four-year-old Athena Brownfield who was reported missing by a postal worker after finding the girl’s sister unattended near their Oklahoma home earlier this week.

An investigation began around 2 p.m. after the postal worker discovered Athena’s five-year-old sister wandering alone near their home in the 200 block of West Nebraska in Cyril. The worker called Cyril police and authorities then learned that Athena was missing.

The older sister was described as frightened but not requiring medical assistance. She was placed in protective custody. It is not clear how long she had been missing before her disappearance was reported, or when her sister Athena was last seen. 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) have deployed infrared helicopters, four-wheelers, boats and personnel on the ground to search the surrounding area. 

Brook Arbeitman, with the OSBI, said in an update on Wednesday that investigators are working to put together a timeline of when Athena was last seen. She said the girl’s parents are in contact with the OSBI, but would not give additional details about their whereabouts or who was responsible for Athena when she went missing. 

Desperate search is launched for four-year-old Athena Brownfield in Oklahoma

Police have launched a desperate search for four-year-old Athena Brownfield (pictured) who was reported missing by a postal worker after first finding the girl’s sister unattended outside

A map showing the town of Cyril, Oklahoma, where Athena Brownfield lives. A postal carrier called police after finding another child, later determined to be Athena's five-year-old sister, wandering alone outside near their home, which is on West Nebraska

A map showing the town of Cyril, Oklahoma, where Athena Brownfield lives. A postal carrier called police after finding another child, later determined to be Athena’s five-year-old sister, wandering alone outside near their home, which is on West Nebraska

Athena was last seen wearing a pink butterfly sweater and pink pants, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol and has ‘limited verbal skills.’

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An Amber Alert was not issued because the circumstances surrounding Athena’s disappearance do not meet the specific guidelines required, authorities said. But a missing and endangered person alert went out Tuesday in a 15-mile radius of Cyril.

When asked if it was believed that the child was in danger, Arbeitman stated that she is little girl out in the elements, but it is not known if she’s a victim of physical harm.  

‘This is a very active and ongoing investigation, and right now our top priority is locating her. And sorting out who is responsible will come next. We need to find this little girl,’ Arbeitman said. 

‘She’s on her own in the elements. So, is that endangered? Yeah. But is she the victim of physical harm? That’s yet to be determined.’

‘We’re still working on putting together the exact timeline. But again, I can confirm that this investigation really kicked off yesterday at 2 p.m. when the postal carrier located the 5-year-old and contacted the police department. And then we got involved later that night,’ Arbeitman continued. 

‘Then, of course, all of our law enforcement partners have joined us, and we’ve been looking for her nonstop since the original call came into the police department.’

Authorities are asking that anyone with a residence or business in Cyril that has a video doorbell camera come to the Family Life Church and notify law enforcement. 

A woman who claimed to be the girl’s grandmother told KFOR that the fmaily is trying to remain hopeful. 

‘[I feel] heart wrenching chest pains [and] sick to my stomach,’ Penny Brownfield told reporters. ‘We just want her found and safe.’

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation have deployed infrared helicopters, four-wheelers, boats and personnel on the ground to search the surrounding area, according to the OHP Trooper Eric Foster

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation have deployed infrared helicopters, four-wheelers, boats and personnel on the ground to search the surrounding area, according to the OHP Trooper Eric Foster

Authorities also used Oklahoma Department of Corrections dogs to assist the search, according to a report posted on Wednesday.

‘Today at 4 p.m., the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) Emergency Response Team (ERT) concluded a grid search with local volunteers. Those volunteers have been released after searching the entire town, every known vacant house and local waterways,’ OSBI added in a separate statement Wednesday afternoon.

‘Currently, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) has search dogs in the area and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) flew their drones over the community.’

Athena was reported missing after a postal worker found her five-year-old sister alone near their residence in Cyril, around 70 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

The older girl was described as frightened but not requiring medical assistance.

It is not clear how long she had been missing before her disappearance was reported.

‘We’re still working on putting together an exact timeline,’ Arbeitman said.

Details regarding the property where the girls were staying are also not immediately clear and the whereabouts of the girls’ parents or guardians at the time of Athena’s disappearance are not known.

‘That’s part of the ongoing investigation,’ Arbeitman said on Wednesday morning when asked about who was supposed to be watching the girls, according to KOCO News.

The five-year-old has been placed in protective custody.

Several details about the four-year-old, who authorities initially said was three but have since corrected, are not known. Foster said an Amber Alert has not been issued as her disappearance does not meet specific guidelines.

He added: ‘Not every part of that guideline came into play in this. So the next best thing that we could do was issue a Missing and Endangered notification that went out in a 15-mile radius from where she went missing.’

Law enforcement officials are continuing to conduct interviews and are reviewing surveillance videos in the area. They are also asking anyone with doorbell cameras or footage of the area near the 200 block of West Nebraska to hand it in.

‘The entire law enforcement community assisting with locating Athena appreciates local volunteers, restaurants, churches and all the tips that have been phoned in,’ the OSBI said.

Residents are also encouraged to search their own property for Athena.

Fox News Digital said it is aware of social media posts regarding Athena’s parents or details surrounding her living situation but the OSBI is advising people and outlets not to share unconfirmed details as it could hinder the investigation.

Anyone with information about Athena Brownfield’s disappearance is asked to contact the Cyril Police Department directly at (580) 464-2216, the OSBI tip line at 800-522-8017 or email tips@osbi.ok.gov

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