Ivon Adams is facing murder charges in the disappearance of Athena Brownfield

A man jailed in Arizona faces murder charges in connection with the disappearance of a 4-year-old Oklahoma girl he was caring for, authorities said Friday, adding that the search for the child is ongoing.

Ivon Adams, 36, was arrested Thursday in Arizona on one count of child neglect in the Athena Brownfield case, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a news release. Investigators said Friday night that Adams also faces a charge of first-degree murder, but did not provide further details about what led to the charges.

“We’re still looking for her,” OSBI spokeswoman Brooke Arbeitman said via text about Athena.

Adams is being held at the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix pending extradition to Oklahoma, the OSBI said.

Earlier, Oklahoma authorities arrested Alysia Adams, 31, on two counts of child neglect, the office it said in a statement late Thursday. Alysia Adams, who the OSBI said is married to Ivon Adams, remained jailed in Caddo County, Oklahoma on Friday.

Athena Brownfield was reported missing Tuesday when her sister was found wondering alone.
Athena Brownfield was reported missing Tuesday when her sister was found wondering alone.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol/Facebook

The office did not provide further details about the arrests. It was unclear if either Adams had an attorney available to comment on their behalf.

The arrests are related to the quest for athenawho was reported missing Tuesday in Cyril, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) southwest of Oklahoma City, the office said.

A mail carrier found Athena’s 5-year-old sister wandering alone outside the Adams home Monday afternoon and notified Cyril police. Then the authorities discovered that Athena was missing.

The girls were in the care of Alysia and Ivon Adams, and her sister Athena was placed in protective custody, the office said.

Authorities said they believe Athena was wearing a butterfly print hoodie when she disappeared.

The office said it was working with other law enforcement agencies and volunteers in the search, which included a helicopter, boats, all-terrain vehicles, a specially trained ground team and a review of surveillance video from Cyril.

The city of Cyril has also suspended trash service as investigators look for clues.

The office said agents were following up on tips from Oklahoma and other states.