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Details Emerge in Athena Strand’s Murder

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Athena Strand | Image by FOX 4

Warning: The following contains graphic details concerning the recent murder of 7-year-old Athena Strand.

Tanner Horner has reportedly admitted to strangling 7-year-old Athena Strand after accidentally hitting her when backing up his truck, according to NBC DFW.

The delivery driver accused of murdering Athena Strand allegedly told police that his truck hit Strand, but she was not seriously hurt, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by NBC DFW.

Horner said he panicked and took the girl into his delivery van, according to the affidavit. When Strand told Horner that she would tell her father about being hit by his truck, he reportedly tried to break her neck. When that didn’t work, he says he strangled her to death.

Last week, an Amber Alert was issued for Strand, leading to a search and rescue operation. Strand’s body was found last Friday, December 2, after Horner allegedly directed investigators to where he had dumped it.

Horner is charged with kidnapping and capital murder of a person under the age of 10. He is currently being held at Wise County Jail with a bond of $1.5 million.

FBI agents had learned that a package was delivered to Strand’s home around the time of her disappearance.

Investigators tracked down the delivery company, a subcontractor for FedEx called Big Topspin. The delivery truck was equipped with recording equipment. Big Topspin gave investigators a video showing a man, alleged to be Horner, putting a girl matching Strand’s description into the delivery truck.

The package delivered to Strand’s home was a Christmas present, according to her mother Maitlyn Gandy — a box of “You Can Be Anything” Barbie dolls.

“Athena was robbed of the opportunity to grow up to be anything she wanted. And this present ordered out of innocence and love is one she will never receive,” Gandy said. “I was robbed of watching her grow up by a man that everyone was supposed to be able to trust to do one simple task: deliver Christmas packages and leave.”

Thousands attended a vigil Tuesday in Paradise, Texas, to grieve for the loss of the seven-year-old, many wearing pink — Strand’s favorite color — in support, as reported by The Dallas Express. A private funeral is set to be held Friday.

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Eileen Beck
Eileen Beck
1 month ago

This breaks my heart.

Pap
Pap
1 month ago

Why isn’t an sob like that held without bail? They should never set bail when someone admits to the crime, I don’t care how high they set it. Our laws are ludicrous.

Frankie
Frankie
1 month ago

Devastating. My prayers for this family.
🙏

Ruth Pruett
Ruth Pruett
1 month ago

Just way to sad.

Angie Epling
Angie Epling
1 month ago

RIP, sweet angel

Jo Ann Olivieri
Jo Ann Olivieri
1 month ago

I’am so sorry for your loss God bless you and your family,you will always have her in your heart I know right now that’s not what you want ,God is holding her for you until you can hold her again♥️❤️

Vicki Jackdon
Vicki Jackdon
1 month ago

I am so sorry this happened. Your little girl was just precious.

Alyse
Alyse
1 month ago

My condolences to her Family, you will be Reunited in Glory! God Bless

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

He should have done the right thing. What a disgrace to all metal head.

Gareth Villeneuve
Gareth Villeneuve
1 month ago

Hang him from a tree by his Scrotum! Then beat him with sticks like he’s a Piñata !!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Gareth Villeneuve