Male Caretaker of Missing 4-Year-Old Athena Brownfield Charged With Murder as Search for Her Continues

Athena Brownfield
Athena Brownfield.National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The male caretaker of 4-year-old Athena Brownfield is awaiting extradition from Arizona to Oklahoma, where the little girl was declared missing last week, authorities said.

The male caretaker of missing 4-year-old Athena Brownfield has now been charged with murder in connection with her disappearance, authorities said.

Ivon Adams, 36, was arrested last week in Arizona on a fugitive warrant, Maricopa County officials said. Authorities in Oklahoma, where the little girl was declared missing, charged Adams with first-degree murder late Friday, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation. He also faces two counts of child neglect and is awaiting extradition, according to online jail records.

Alysia Adams, who is the suspect's wife, was arrested in Oklahoma last week and has been charged with two counts of child neglect, authorities said. She is being held at the Caddo County Jail, according to online records.

The couple are the caretakers of Athena, and her 5-year-old sister, state investigators said.

Athena was declared missing Tuesday after her sister was found wandering frightened and alone outside the Adams' home in Cyril, Oklahoma, authorities said. The little girl was discovered by a mail carrier, who summoned help, police said.

No adults were found at the home, authorities said.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation, which became the lead investigating agency last week, did not release details about the murder charge, but said it was "in connection" with Athena's disappearance.

An arrest warrant affidavit filed in Arizona said Ivon Adams was a Marine Corps veteran who was arrested in connection with a "child homicide" in Oklahoma. Evidence of the alleged crime was found on Adams' cellphone, the affidavit claimed.

Adams waived extradition proceedings in a Friday court appearance, according to local reports. 

Oklahoma authorities have released no information about how the Adams allegedly became the children's caretakers. No information about the biological parents has been released.

The search for Athena remains ongoing, authorities said.

Related Stories