A 4-year-old girl from Cyril, Oklahoma is still missing after she disappeared earlier this week and authorities are asking the public to help with the investigation.
Athena Brownfield has been missing since last Tuesday and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) deployed infrared helicopters, boats, four-wheelers and ground personnel to search the nearby area in an effort to locate her, according to OHP Officer Eric Foster.
“We’ve been in the air with infrared helicopters, on the ground, around town there were a lot web searches on foot and on four wheels, things like that,” Foster said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon, FOX 25 reported. coordination with civilians who have come and want to volunteer their time and effort.”
Bureau PIO Brooke Arbeitman confirmed this information, adding, “We are still very actively looking for her using all our tools. We’re finding things that we hope will give us clues as to where she is, but we’re still actively looking for her.”
Authorities also used dogs from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to help with the search, according to the report.
“This is a very active and ongoing investigation and right now our top priority is to find her. Then it will come to find out who is responsible. We have to find this little girl,” Arbeitman said. “She is alone in the elements. So is this in danger? Yes. But is he a victim of physical harm? That is yet to be determined.”
That ground search continued throughout Wednesday, but ended after volunteers searched “the entire city,” Arbeitman said.
“Today at 4 p.m., Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) The Emergency Response Team (ERT) completed a search of the network with local volunteers. These volunteers were released after searching the entire city, every known vacant house and local waterways,” the OSBI added in a separate statement Wednesday afternoon.
It added: “The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) currently has sniffer dogs in the area and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) have been flying their drones over the community.”
Athena was reported missing around 2 p.m. Tuesday after a postal worker found her 5-year-old sister alone near their residence in Cyril, which is about 70 miles (113 km) southwest of Oklahoma City.
The older girl was described as frightened but did not require medical attention.
It is unclear how long she was missing before she was reported missing.
“We’re still working on putting together an exact timeline,” Arbeitman said.
Details about the home where the girls were staying were also not immediately clear, and it was not known where the girls’ parents or guardians were at the time of Athena’s disappearance.
“It’s part of the ongoing investigation,” Arbeitman said Wednesday morning when asked who was supposed to be watching the girls, according to KOCO News.
A restraining order was imposed on the 5-year-old.
Not many details are known about the 4-year-old, who authorities initially said was 3 but later corrected. An alert was not subsequently issued for Amber because her disappearance did not meet specific guidelines, Foster said.
“There are specific guidelines and things that we have to follow,” he explained. “Not every bit of that direction came into play in this. So the next best thing we could do was put out a missing and endangered notice that went out within a 15 mile radius of where she went missing.”
Law enforcement continues to conduct interviews and review surveillance video in the area. They are also asking anyone with doorbell cameras or footage from the area near the 200 block of West Nebraska to come forward with their resources to help in this effort.
“The entire law enforcement community that assisted in locating Athena appreciates local volunteers, restaurants, churches and any tips that were received over the phone,” the OSBI said.
Residents are encouraged to search for their own property for Athens.
Fox News Digital is aware of social media posts about Athena’s parents or details about her living situation, but the OSBI advises people and the media not to share unconfirmed details as it could hinder the investigation.
Anyone with information about Athena Brownfield’s disappearance is asked to contact the Cyril Police Department directly at (580) 464-2216, the OSBI tip line at 800-522-8017 or email [email protected] ok.gov
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