Missing 7-year-old North Texas girl found dead; fedex driver arrested

Body of 7-year-old Athena Strand found in Wise County, officials confirm

Body of 7-year-old Athena Strand found in Wise County, officials confirm


Authorities announced Friday that a 7-year-old girl who went missing from her North Texas home earlier this week — prompting an AMBER Alert — has been found dead. A FedEx driver has been arrested for kidnapping and murder.

athena was near the strand Went missing Wednesday evening at his father’s home in Paradise, Texas, CBS DFW reportedprompted a massive multi-agency search involving hundreds of volunteers.

Her body was located Friday evening — thanks to a tip that investigators received earlier in the day — Wise County Sheriff Len Akin announced at a news conference late Friday.

athena strand
An undated photo of 7-year-old Athena Strand.

Maitlin Presley Gandy/Facebook

Akin said the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Tanner Lynn Horner, was taken into custody Friday on charges of murder and aggravated kidnapping.

Eakin reveals that Horner was a FedEx contract driver who delivered a package to Strand’s home when she disappeared.

“It was early in the investigation that we learned there was a FedEx driver who made a delivery in front of the house around the same time little Athena, 7-year-old, went missing,” Eakin said.

Investigators believe Strand died “within an hour or so after leaving her home,” Akin said.

He also indicated that Horner had confessed to the crime, and said that investigators had obtained “digital evidence”, but did not elaborate.

“We have a confession,” said Akin.

FedEx cooperated with investigators, Akin also confirmed.

Strand’s cause of death was not released, or that the exact location was not found. His body was located southeast of the Wise County town of Boyd, Akin said.

Horner, of Lakeworth, Texas, is being held on $1.5 million bail.

According to CBS DFW, the FBI, Texas Rangers Division, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and the US Marshals Service were all involved in the investigation.

CBS DFW reported that on the evening of Strand’s disappearance, Strand’s stepmother called and reported him missing after the two had an argument while his father was not home.

Paradise is located in the Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington metro area, about 40 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

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