Oklahoma girl, 4, murdered on Christmas by suspect arrested in Phoenix, court docs say

Authorities confirmed that a child’s remains were found about 15 miles from where 4-year-old Athena Brownfield was reported missing.
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 9:22 AM MST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 10:41 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/KSWO) Newly released court documents shed new light into the murder of Athena Brownfield, a 4-year-old Oklahoma girl allegedly killed by one of her caregivers. Ivon Adams, 36, was arrested by Phoenix police last week.

On Tuesday afternoon, authorities confirmed that a child’s remains were found Rush Springs, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the Oklahoma community of Cyril, where 4-year-old Athena Brownfield was reported missing. However, the remains haven’t been identified. “The remains will be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Oklahoma City for positive identification,” according to an OSBI statement. “This is a active homicide investigation and until the remains are positively identified, the OSBI will not be commenting further.”

In the court documents charging Adams with first-degree murder and child neglect, officials lay out the timeline and more details about what happened to Athena.

Warning: graphic content; discretion advised.

According to the paperwork, after Athena’s sister was found in Cyril, she was interviewed by authorities and told them she had been home alone and was tired of being alone. Athena and her sister, according to court documents, had been living with Alysia and Ivon for up to two years and in that time had never been taken to a doctor’s appointment or enrolled in school.

When being interviewed on Jan. 12, Alysia reportedly confessed to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents that on Dec. 25, 2022, around midnight, Ivon beat Athena and held her by her arms. He then allegedly laid her on the ground and hit her three times. Court documents say Athena didn’t move after that.

The assault reportedly happened at the home in Cyril, Okla. Alysia reportedly told investigators Ivon allegedly left the house around 1 a.m. on December 26 with Athena’s body. When he came back home, documents say he told Alysia that he buried her near a fence line that was next to their old residence in Rush Springs, Okla. Phone records reportedly showed Ivon leaving the home and traveling to Rush Springs around 4:15 a.m.

Ivon was arrested on Thursday, Jan. 12, at a home in Glendale and will be extradited back to Oklahoma to face these charges. Officials haven’t said what his connection is to Arizona, so Arizona’s Family went to see if anyone would answer the door. While the man who answered didn’t want to talk to us, we were able to confirm through database and county records that the owner of the home is a relative of Alysia Adams, Ivon’s wife.

As of now, nobody else, in this case, is facing any charges. On Monday, the OSBI announced that the search for Athena had transitioned to a recovery operation as investigators are now trying to find her body.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.