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Athena Brownfield, 4, was beaten to death on Christmas, court documents say

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A man charged with murder in the disappearance of 4-year-old Athena Brownfield in Oklahoma beat the child to death on Christmas, buried her body and placed a branch over her grave, according to court documents.

Athena was discovered to be missing when a postal carrier found her 5-year-old sister outside a home in Cyril with no adult supervision on Jan. 10 and contacted police, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said.

A widespread search for the girl soon turned into a recovery operation. On Tuesday, the state bureau said it recovered the remains of a child in rural Grady County outside of Rush Springs, about 60 miles south of Oklahoma City. The remains were transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Oklahoma City for positive identification. 

Two days after authorities learned Athena was missing, her caregivers, Ivon and Alysia Adams, were arrested. Ivon Adams, 36, was charged with first-degree murder and child neglect, and Alysia Adams with two counts of child neglect.

Athena Brownfield.Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation via Facebook

Arrest affidavits for the pair reveal that Alysia Adams, 31, told a state bureau special agent Thursday that Ivon Adams beat…

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