Authorities in Oklahoma have recovered the body of a child while searching for missing Athena Brownfield in rural Grady County outside of Rush Springs.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) said in a news release Tuesday evening that they cannot confirm that the remains are those of Athena, the four-year-old girl who was reported missing a week ago.
Grim overhead photos shared by KOCO showed cops combing an isolated stretch of woodland, close to where the body was found.
The remains will be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Oklahoma City for positive identification, authorities said.
Athena was first reported missing on January 10 after a mail carrier found her five-year-old sister wandering alone outside their home on West Nebraska Avenue in Cyril. The postal worker called police, which prompted the search for Athena.
Earlier today, newly-released court documents revealed that her caregiver, Alysia Adams, 31, told investigators that Athena was beaten to death by her estranged husband Ivon Adams, 36, on Christmas, and that he buried her body on property in Rush Springs where they used to live.
Her remains are believed to have been found where Alysia said they’d been buried.
This is where a body believed to be that of Athena Brownfield was found by cops close to Rush Springs in Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon. She is feared to have been murdered by her caregiver’s estranged husband Ivon Adams on Christmas Day
Another overhead shot shows the desolated area where Athena’s body was found
Ivon Adams, 36, (left) allegedly beat Athena to death and buried her body, according to his estranged wife Alysia Adams, 31, (right) who told investigators it happened on Christmas
The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations continues to search for the remains of Athena Brownfield, 4, who was reported missing on January 10, but was allegedly killed on Christmas
Alysia, who is related to the girls, reportedly told OSBI investigators that on Christmas around midnight, allegedly laid the child on the ground and hit her three times. She didn’t move after that, according to the documents.
She said that around midnight on Christmas, Ivon beat the little girl to death and held her up by her arms, the court documents revealed, according to KSWO.
The child was not moving and her eyes were barely open, according to the document. He then laid her on the ground and punched her at least three more times in the chest, Alysia reportedly told investigators on January 12.
Ivon then left the house on West Nebraska Avenue with the child’s body around 1 a.m. on December 26.
When Ivon returned home, he allegedly told Alysia that he buried Athena near a fence line that was next to their old residence in Rush Springs, Oklahoma, court documents revealed. He added that he placed a large broken branch over the grave.
Phone records reportedly showed Ivon leaving the home and traveling to Rush Springs around 4:15 a.m.
Ivon was arrested on Thursday in Arizona and will be extradited back to Oklahoma where he faces a murder charge. Alysia was arrested the same day and faces two counts of child neglect.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol were seen searching for Athena in a body of water near her home
The child vanished from this house in Cyril, Oklahoma, a small city 70 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, on January 10
The court documents also revealed that Ivon and Alysia never took the girls to the doctor for checkups and never enroll them in school.
When Athena’s sister Adina was interviewed by authorities last week, she had told them she had been home by herself and was ‘tired of being alone.’
The sisters’ biological parents – who have not been named – have been interviewed by authorities and are cooperating with the investigation, the OSBI said. Athena’s sister has been taken into protective custody.
Volunteers and multiple law enforcement agencies have been involved in the search, which included a helicopter, boats, all-terrain vehicles, a specially trained ground team, and a review of surveillance video from around Cyril.