Home News Texas FedEx driver says he strangled girl in van

Texas FedEx driver says he strangled girl in van


The FedEx driver accused of abducting and killing a 7-year-old woman final week in Texas instructed authorities that he strangled her after by chance hitting her along with his van whereas making a supply at her residence, based on an arrest warrant obtained Thursday.

Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, instructed investigators that Athena Strand wasn’t critically harm after he hit her whereas backing up, however he panicked and put her in his van. He stated she was speaking to him and instructed him her title, in accordance the warrant.

However Horner stated he didn’t need her to inform her father what occurred, so he first tried to interrupt the woman’s neck and when that didn’t work, he strangled her along with his palms behind the van, the warrant stated. The warrant stated Horner took investigators to the place he’d left Athena’s physique.

Athena was discovered useless on Dec. 2, two days after she was reported lacking from the house of her father and stepmother in Paradise, a city of fewer than 500 individuals about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Dallas.

Horner was arrested final week on prices of capital homicide and aggravated kidnapping and remained jailed Thursday along with his bond set at $1.5 million. Jail data didn’t record an lawyer who may communicate on his behalf.

Athena’s mom, Maitlyn Gandy, spoke at a information convention Thursday outdoors Smart County courthouse in Decatur, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northeast of Paradise. She stated stated that the bundle that Horner dropped off that day was a Christmas current for the “superb little woman” she needed everybody to find out about.

  • This undated photo from Wise County Sheriff's Office shows Tanner Lynn Horner. Horner, 31, was arrested Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, on kidnapping and murder charges after confessing to killing a 7-year-old Texas girl and telling authorities where to find her body, according to Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin. The girl's stepmother had reported her missing on Wednesday from the family home near Paradise, Texas. (Wise County Sheriff's Office via AP)

“I used to be robbed of watching her develop up,” Gandy stated as she stood beside the current, a field of “You Can Be Something” Barbies.

Smart County Sheriff Lane Akin has stated that they knew early on {that a} supply had been made on the woman’s residence at about the identical time that she disappeared. Akin has stated she was killed about an “hour or so” after being kidnapped.

Working with staff from the contracting firm that was delivering packages for FedEx, investigators decided which van and driver made the supply, the warrant stated. Investigators additionally realized that the van that delivered the bundle was geared up with video, the warrant stated.

An FBI worker who then watched video from the van may see that the driving force had taken a younger woman who seemed like Athena within the van and had talked to her. The warrant stated that when investigators situated Horner, he instructed them Athena was useless and confessed.

Gandy stated that Athena had been set to return residence to her in Oklahoma after Christmas break.

“Now, as an alternative, Athena can be cremated and she is going to come residence in an urn as a result of I’m not even, I’m not wherever near being able to let my child go,” she stated.

Gandy stated her daughter, who beloved faculty and her mates within the first grade, additionally “beloved dancing, singing and all animals: canines, cats, horses, lizards and chinchillas.”

She stated Athena beloved flowers, and likewise wasn’t afraid to get “down within the mud with the boys.” “She was her father’s daughter,” Gandy stated.

“I’ll by no means see her vivid blue eyes or her ornery smile once more,” Gandy stated. “I’ll by no means have the ability to hear her say, ‘I like you, Mommy.’ I’ll by no means have the ability to do her hair once more or to carry her whereas she sleeps.”

She thanked the group, saying they “flew into motion” from the second Athena went lacking and he or she’s been seeing individuals all over the place sporting pink in her daughter’s honor. At a vigil Tuesday night time in Paradise, most of the mourners gathered to recollect Athena wore pink.

“I ask everybody to carry your littles just a bit tighter for me,” Gandy stated.


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