FedEx Driver Arrested in Kidnapping and Killing of Lacking Texas Youngster: ‘It Hurts Our Hearts’
A FedEx driver has been arrested and charged with capital abolish and aggravated kidnapping after allegedly taking a Texas lady from her dwelling driveway earlier this week and killing her, authorities said.
Seven-year-frail Athena Strand, who became as soon as final considered Wednesday evening on County Motorway in town of Paradise, became as soon as found wearisome Friday with regards to 200 yards from her dwelling, Radiant County Sheriff Lane Akin instructed reporters on Friday.
“It hurts our hearts to understand that that dinky one died,” Akin said. “So well-known in remark that she is on her formulation now to the clinical examiner’s workplace and there might per chance be a Texas ranger in front of her, and there might per chance be a Texas ranger in the motivate of her. This neighborhood doesn’t savor shedding our kids. And we are in a position to come all the most effective design via it attributable to your total these that came out and helped us all the most effective design via this ordeal.”
Native feature KDFW reported that a tip led authorities to Tanner Lynn Horner, 31 — a non-public contractor — who the feature experiences is now being held on a $1.5 million bond. They additionally said that he confessed to the killing.
The costs reach about after police led a search all the most effective design via Radiant County when the girl vanished from her dwelling Wednesday, and earlier than the Texas’ Department of Public Safety issued an AMBER Alert on Thursday.
Akin previously said Strand’s stepmother reported the girl missing on Wednesday after noticing she became as soon as no longer in her room and trying out for her for an hour, in step with ABC affiliate WFAA and NBC affiliate KXAS-TV.
More than one businesses, including a K-9 unit, assisted in the see Strand, and approximately 200 electorate helped scour 50 acres of land for the missing lady, in step with WFAA.
Horner, a resident of Toes. Fee, is currently booked in Radiant County jail, in step with the jail’s web location. “Our thoughts are with the family of Athena Strand all the most effective design via this most advanced time,” FedEx shared in a Twitter statement. “Words can no longer describe our shock and sorrow surrounding this tragic tournament. We continue to cooperate fully with the investigating authorities.”
Athena Strand’s mother, Maitlyn Gandy, has since launched a GoFundMe fundraiser. The crowdfunding campaign has earned over $35,000 of its original $50,000 purpose.
“All donations are being allotted for justice for Athena,” an announcement on the GoFundMe reads. “We’re very a lot moved by the total enhance proven in the neighborhood. Please continue to pray for comfort for the families and first responders and that our purpose forward will seemingly be to try to secure justice for Athena and closure for her family.”
Resolve on to place with primarily the most modern crime coverage? Register for PEOPLE’s free Appropriate Crime e-newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and info of intriguing unsolved cases.
Texas EquuSearch Fb
Gandy shared a message with visitors on Fb after the news of her daughter’s death, calling Athena “innocent, comely, kind, sparkling, and fair correct the brightest, happiest soul you might per chance ever meet,” whereas adding that she became as soon as taken by a “sick, merciless monster for totally no motive.”
“I don’t desire her to be the girl identified because the one murdered and discarded by a monster,” she wrote. “I could per chance most seemingly like all people to understand, each and each single individual in this world, that here’s my dinky one and my dinky one became as soon as taken from me. I could per chance most seemingly like all people to understand her face and her articulate and fair correct how exceptional of an particular individual she is.”
Her mother additionally thanked the “an total lot if no longer hundreds of volunteers” and authorities who helped come all the most effective design via her this week.
“It takes a diverse form of individual and whether or no longer quite one is yours or no longer, working crime scenes interesting youngsters are exhausting,” she wrote in but every other submit. “Thanks for finding my dinky one. I do know all people needs this is in a position to have faith ended in every other case.”
Athena’s motive in the motivate of death remains under investigation, per Akin.