Married couple charged in Oklahoma disappearance of girl they cared for
(CNN) — A married couple who police say was caring for a 4-year-old girl in Oklahoma has been arrested and charged after the child’s disappearance, investigators said.
Athena Brownfield was first discovered missing by authorities after her young sister was seen unattended outside a home in the town of Cyril — about 55 miles southwest of Oklahoma City — earlier this week, prompting officers and volunteers to launch a search for the child, authorities said.
Alysia Adams, 31, was arrested Thursday in nearby Grady County and faces two counts of child neglect, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Ivon Adams, 36, was arrested Thursday in Phoenix, Arizona, Oklahoma and Phoenix police said. An outstanding felony warrant had been issued from Oklahoma on first-degree murder and child neglect charges, according to a court document filed in Maricopa County obtained by CNN affiliate KNXV.
Authorities learned Athena was missing on Tuesday after a mail carrier called police and reported a young girl was unattended, wandering outside the Adamses’ home, investigators said. The girl turned out to be Athena’s 5-year-old sister, who was not hurt when police found her, law enforcement said. However, authorities have not been able to locate Athena since then.
Athena was being cared for by the couple at the time of her disappearance, according to Oklahoma authorities, who say the investigation is ongoing and are concerned about her well-being.
“You’re talking about a toddler who’s been on her own,” state bureau of investigation spokesperson Brook Arbeitman said Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities have been in touch with Athena’s parents but refused to provide additional information about the circumstances of the case, they said earlier this week.
Police searched Athena’s home and are looking for more clues around the community.
“I’m not going to call them evidence, but we are finding things around town that could be helpful in this case,” Arbeitman said.
Ivon Adams is currently being held in Maricopa County Jail as he awaits extradition to Oklahoma, the State Bureau of Investigation said. Alysia Adams is in custody at Caddo County Jail in Oklahoma, officials said.
It was unclear Friday whether the couple has legal representation. CNN has reached out to authorities for more information.