Athena Brownfield's Remains Formally Identified as Mourners Remember Slain 4-Year-Old
Oklahoma authorities have formally identified the remains of 4-year-old Athena Brownfield, who they say was beaten to death by her male caregiver.
The battered remains of 4-year-old Athena Brownfield have been formally identified by Oklahoma authorities.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced the identification late Thursday, the same day hundreds of mourners gathered to pay tribute to the little girl who authorities say was beaten to death on Christmas Day by the man she called "uncle" and "dad."
"The events surrounding the untimely death of this little 4-year-old girl are heartbreaking and she deserves to be remembered in the correct way and with dignity," Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Foster said Thursday as the child was remembered as a sweet girl who loved all things purple.
Because a gag order was issued by a judge last week, state investigators said Thursday they would have no further comments beyond the identification of her body.
The girl's caretakers, Ivon Adams and Alysia Adams, have been arrested in connection with her slaying.
Ivon has been charged with first-degree murder in Athena's death. Alysia has been charged with two counts of child neglect. Ivon is being held without bail. Bond for Alysia was set at $500,000.
Neither suspect has entered a plea, according to online records.
Authorities have not said why the Adams were caring for Athena and her 5-year-old sister, who was found wandering, frightened and alone, by a mail carrier outside the home she shared with the couple in the tiny town of Cyril. After she was found, she alerted authorities her sister was missing.
There were no adults in the home, and the 5-year-old said she had been living alone, investigators said.
Investigators have previously said the girls were related to Alysia Adams, but did not say how.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Alysia allegedly told investigators her estranged husband had beaten Athena on Christmas, and then took her to property where the couple had previously lived and buried her there, dragging a branch to cover the spot.
Athena's body was later found in that area, authorities said.
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