ENID, Okla. (KOCO) -- The Oklahoma community gathered to remember the 4-year-old Cyril girl who investigators say was murdered on Christmas Day and was reported missing earlier this month.

The funeral service for Athena Brownfield began at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Stride Bank Center, located at 301 S. Independence Ave. in Enid. The funeral is open to the public.

State Sen. Roger Thompson officiated the funeral.

 
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"The events surrounding the untimely death of this little 4-year-old girl are heartbreaking and she deserves to be remembered in the correct way and with dignity," Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Foster said in a news release.

An obituary says Athena loved to color and "Baby Shark," her favorite color was purple, and she loved playing dress-up.

Athena was reported missing on Jan. 10 after a mail carrier found her 5-year-old sister outside their home on West Nebraska Avenue in Cyril. The postal worker called police, and law enforcement started their search for Athena after learning she was missing.

The search efforts transitioned to a recovery operation about a week after the 4-year-old girl was reported missing.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced on Jan. 17 that the remains of a child were found in rural Grady County near Rush Springs. OSBI officials said at the time that they could not confirm that the remains were those of Athena and that the remains were sent to the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office for positive identification.

Authorities have still not announced whether the remains were Athena's.

Law enforcement arrested two caregivers – Ivon and Alysia Adams – amid the search for Athena.

Ivon Adams was arrested in Arizona on a first-degree murder complaint. Court documents allege that he beat and killed Athena on Christmas Day and buried her body near a home in Rush Springs.

Adams has since been returned to Oklahoma.

Alysia Adams was charged with two counts of child neglect – one for failing to supervise Athena's sister and another for failing to protect Athena from her husband.

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