US News: What we know about the disappearance of 4-year-old Oklahoma girl

Oklahoma and federal law enforcement are searching for a missing 4-year-old girl who was reported missing Tuesday afternoon in Cyril.

Below is what we know.

Who is Missing

Authorities are searching for 4-year-old Athena Brownfield. She has blonde hair and was last seen wearing a butterfly hoodie.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation initially said Athena is 3 but has since confirmed that she is 4.

Timeline of Events

The investigation into Athena’s disappearance started around 2 p.m. Tuesday after a mail carrier found an unattended 5-year-old girl – whom OSBI says is Athena’s sister – near their home in the 200 block of West Nebraska in Cyril.

Oklahoma law enforcement and the FBI have conducted searches and an investigation into the disappearance since then.

Brook Arbeitman, with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said law enforcement is working to put together an exact timeline of when Athena was last seen.

“We’re still working on putting together the exact timeline. But again, I can confirm that this investigation really kicked off yesterday at 2 p.m. when the postal carrier located the 5-year-old and contacted the police department. And then we got involved later that night,” Arbeitman said. “Then, of course, all of our law enforcement partners have joined us, and we’ve been looking for her nonstop since the original call came into the police department.”

The Search

Authorities say the search has been underway since learning that Athena was missing Tuesday afternoon.

Law enforcement has deployed infrared helicopters and conducted grid searches on foot with the help of volunteers and using four-wheelers. They also have utilized boats on small ponds.

“Our ERT Team, which is a team specialty trained to go on foot in search of people and things, are out in coordination with civilians who have come and wanted to volunteer their time and effort,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Foster said.

Arbeitman said they are collecting items that could be relevant, but she said she’s not calling them evidence as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We are finding things around town that could be helpful in this case,” Arbeitman said. “We are finding things that we hope might give us clues on where she is. We’re still actively looking for her.”

Arbeitman said the ground grid search with volunteers is over, but authorities are bringing in Oklahoma Department of Corrections dogs to search for Athena.


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