Authorities said Friday that an Arizona man is facing a murder charge in connection with the disappearance of a 4-year-old Oklahoma girl he had been caring for, and that the search for the child was ongoing.
Ivon Adams, 36, was arrested Thursday in Arizona on one count of child neglect in the case of Athena Brownfield, according to a news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Investigators said Friday evening that Adams is also facing a charge of first-degree murder, but provided no further information about the charges.
"We're still looking for her," OSBI spokesperson Brook Arbeitman said about Athena via text.
The OSBI reports that Adams is being held in the Maricopa County jail in Phoenix pending extradition to Oklahoma.
The bureau provided no additional information about the arrests. It was unclear whether either Adams was represented by an attorney.
The arrests are in connection with the search for Athena, who went missing on Tuesday in Cyril, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) southwest of Oklahoma City, according to the bureau.
Monday afternoon, a postal carrier discovered Athena's 5-year-old sister wandering alone outside Adams' home and contacted Cyril police. Athena was later determined to be missing by authorities.
The girls were in the care of Alysia and Ivon Adams, and Athena's sister was placed in protective custody, according to the bureau.
Authorities believe Athena was wearing a hoodie with a butterfly design when she went missing.
The bureau stated that it was collaborating with other law enforcement agencies and volunteers in the search, which included the use of a helicopter, boats, all-terrain vehicles, a specially trained ground team, and a review of surveillance video from the area around Cyril.
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