'We're Not Giving Up Hope': Candlelight Vigil Held For Missing 4-Year-Old Athena Brownfield

Dozens of community members gathered in Cyril to hold a candlelight vigil for Athena Brownfield on Saturday.

Saturday, January 14th 2023, 10:32 pm

By: News 9, Chris Yu


Hugs, prayers, and hope: Saturday night, community members gathered in Cyril to hold a candlelight vigil for Athena Brownfield.

The vigil took place downtown near Cyril City Hall. Speakers thanked the community for their efforts in trying to find her. They then prayed for the girl, who was reported missing on Tuesday.

"I loaded all four of my children up and I started going on the street with my vehicle and I said, 'Start saying Athena,'" recalled community member Brooke Kelley.

Related Story: OSBI Asks Authorities To Search Bodies Of Water In Grady County

"Pay attention. Keep your eyes open. Watch out everywhere you go," added Candie Jones, who also took part in the vigil.

Since then, Cyril Police, volunteers, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol have been searching for Athena.

"Without you all, I mean, the first initial search would have been impossible. I appreciate all the hours of no sleep," Cyril Police Chief Garrett Raney told the vigil attendees.

A postal worker found Athena's 5-year-old sister wandering by herself on Tuesday. But as of Saturday, there was no word on Athena's whereabouts.

"We are not giving up hope. I know we've all read the records online," said community member Jamie Hood. "We've seen different things. We hear different things. People are sharing rumors. There's no real solid evidence of anything yet because OSBI has not confirmed anything."

Athena's caretakers, Alysia and Ivon Adams, were both arrested. In addition to child neglect charges between the two, Ivon also faces a first-degree murder charge, said the OSBI. Authorities arrested him in Arizona, where he awaits extradition to Oklahoma.

While there are still unanswered questions, what is certain is the town's determination.

"We've had so many donations of water and food and snacks and people that are ready to take streets and just look," said Kelley. "And that is what Cyril is."

OSBI told News 9 on Saturday the agency is following leads, but did not have other updates.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol said OSBI requested OHP to search bodies of water in Grady County. Records show the Adams used to live in Rush Springs.


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