State investigators confirmed on Thursday that the remains found by Oklahoma authorities last week were those of 4-year-old Athena Brownfield, who was allegedly murdered by her caretaker.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said the baby girl was positively identified by the state’s chief medical examiner’s office. His remains were found on January 17 by state authorities.
The harrowing case went from a missing child to a ‘retrieval operation’ after investigators learned she was beaten to death on Christmas Day, according to court documents.
The sick murder was allegedly committed by Ivon Adams, 36, who prosecutors say punched her repeatedly.
He was arrested and is charged with first degree murder and child neglect.
In an affidavit, reported by The Oklahoman, Adams’ wife, Alysia, told a state agent that her husband beat the little girl around midnight and held her by the arms.
Athena “was not moving and her eyes were barely open,” the 31-year-old wife told police, according to the affidavit. “He then laid her on the ground and punched her at least three more times in the chest.”
Athena “never moved after that”.
The affidavit states that Ivon Adams left with the body shortly after midnight and brought the remains to Rush Spring near their former home.
Athena landed on authorities’ radar after a postal worker found her 5-year-old sister walking alone outside Adams’ house more than two weeks after the alleged murder.
Alysia Adams, facing two counts of child neglect, was linked to the younger sisters.
Ivon Adams was captured in Arizona and brought back to Oklahoma, Fox 25 reported. He was denied bail.
The sisters’ biological parents cooperated with the police. The two young girls had been in Adams’ care for about two years.
State investigators had no further information to disclose Thursday due to a gag order.