She Vanished From Her Home. A FedEx Driver Has Been Arrested

Tanner Lynn Horner is accused of abducting Athena Strand, 7, from her Texas home, killing her
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2022 7:00 AM CST

After an intense search for a missing girl involving the FBI, the US Marshals Service, the Texas Rangers Division, and the state's Department of Family and Protective Services, grim news out of North Texas. At a Friday night press conference, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin announced that the body of 7-year-old Athena Strand, who'd gone missing Wednesday from her father's home in Paradise, had been found earlier Friday evening southeast of the town of Boyd, about 10 minutes away from Paradise, and a FedEx driver has been arrested, reports CBS News. Investigators believe that Athena died "within ... the very hour or so after her departure from her home," per Akin.

Akin says the little girl arrived home from school as usual on Wednesday and was reported missing by her stepmother at around 6:40pm local time, per NBC News. After discovering early on in the search that a FedEx driver had made a delivery at the house around that time, authorities on Friday arrested 31-year-old Tanner Lynn Horner, a contract driver for the delivery service from Lake Worth. Investigators say they have evidence that Horner abducted Athena near the gate of the Paradise home's driveway, which is about 200 yards away from the residence itself, per KWTX.

Horner reportedly offered up a confession, and a tip led to the discovery of Athena's body, per Akin. Horner, hit with charges of capital murder and aggravated kidnapping, is now being held on $1.5 million bail. "It's one of the toughest investigations I've been involved in because it's a child, and anytime it involves a child who died, it shatters your heart," Akin said. The cause of Athena's death or a possible motive hasn't yet been revealed. (More child murder stories.)

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