Ivon Adams, who had been caring for Athena Brownfield, was arrested on suspicion of murder and child neglect on Thursday. His wife is also charged with neglect.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reported Tuesday that officials searching for a missing 4-year-old girl discovered the remains of a child.
“At this time, the OSBI cannot confirm the remains are those of Athena Brownfield,” according to a statement from the bureau. “The remains will be transported to the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification.”
The couple who were caring for Athena Brownfield have been charged in relation to her disappearance.
The remains were discovered outside Rush Springs, a rural Grady County town about 60 miles south of Oklahoma City. Rush Springs is about 25 miles from Cyril, where a postal worker recently spotted Athena’s sister wandering alone.
After a week of searching, investigators announced on Monday that their search had been narrowed down to a “recovery operation” to locate the girl’s remains.
Authorities and volunteers have been looking for Athena since January 10, when a postal worker noticed her 5-year-old sister alone near the girls’ home in Cyril, according to the State Bureau of Investigation.
In connection with the case, Ivon Adams and his wife, Alysia Adams, have been arrested. According to the State Bureau of Investigation, the couple is caring for the girls.
Alysia Adams, 31, was arrested on two counts of child neglect by the Grady County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday and booked into the Caddo County Jail, according to the agency.
Ivon Adams, 36, was arrested Thursday in Arizona and is scheduled to be extradited to Oklahoma on murder and child neglect charges, according to the state bureau.
It was unclear whether either had legal representation.
According to the state bureau, Alysia Adams was related to Athena and her 5-year-old sister, and the two siblings had been in her care for at least a year.
Officials have stated that the sisters’ biological parents are cooperating with the investigation and have been interviewed. According to the state bureau, Athena’s sister has been placed in protective custody.