FedEx issues statement after driver is accused of killing 7-year-old girl in Texas

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By stefan armitage

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FedEx has issued a statement following the tragic death of seven-year-old Athena Strand in Texas.

On Friday, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin announced that Athena's body was found southeast of the city of Boyd, roughly 11 miles away from her father's home.

The heartbreaking news came after 200 volunteers from the local community joined a desperate search to find the girl after she disappeared from her father's home on Wednesday.

"We knew early on in the investigation that there had been a FedEx driver, made a delivery in front of the house, about the same time that little Athena, 7-year-old Athena, came up missing," Akin told reporters on Friday.

NBC DFW has reported that 31-year-old FedEx contract driver Tanner Lynn Horner is facing aggravated kidnapping and capital murder charges after reportedly confessing to killing Athena.

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Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin has confirmed that the body of 7-year-old Athena Strand has been found. Credit: Facebook

Per CNN, authorities believe the delivery driver snatched the young girl from the property's driveway.

Athena is believed to have died within one hour of being kidnapped.

Horner's bail was set at $1.5 million.

"It’s one of the toughest investigations that I’ve been involved in because it’s a child. And anytime there’s a child that dies, it just hits you in your heart," Akin said during the press conference.

Over the weekend, FedEx provided the following statement to CNN:

"Words cannot describe our shock and sorrow at the reports surrounding this tragic event. First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family during this most difficult time, and we continue to cooperate fully with the investigating authorities."

Akin did not state the exact location where the child's body was found, nor did he provide any motive or cause of death.

Following the devastating news, Athena's mother, Maitlyn Gandy, took to social media to pay tribute to her "princess" - sharing dozens of photos of her daughter to Facebook.

"I want the world to know my baby, my first baby, my first true love, the reason I breathe," she wrote alongside the images. "I love my daughter beyond words and I will always love her."

The mother's post continues: "I cannot describe the pain and absolute anger I feel. Missing her doesn’t cover how I feel. My daughters name is Athena Presley Monroe Strand, which she would happily announce to anyone listening, and anyone not listening she would make listen.

"My princess was taken from me from a sick, cruel monster for absolutely no reason.

"Athena is innocent, beautiful, kind, intelligent, and just the brightest, happiest soul you could ever meet. I don’t want her to be the girl known as the one murdered and discarded by a monster. I want everyone to know, every single person in this world, that this is my baby and my baby was taken from me."

"I want everyone to know her face and her voice and just how wonderful of a person she is," the mom concludes.

In another post, Gandy listed her late daughter's favorite things - noting that her "favorite color is pink. She loves to dress up as the princess we all know she is. When she grows up, she wants to be a Viking princess".

"Athena is loved by mommy and daddy, and all of her sisters, many many aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents," the mom adds.

Referring to the upcoming trial into her daughter's death, Gandy wrote: "She no longer has a voice but I will be the best voice I can as a mother for her and I will not stop."

The grieving mom also thanked the hundreds of volunteers who joined the search for Athena last week, and praised "the departments of the many many different agencies and all of the agencies and organizations that came into Wise County to help me find my baby".

As well as the hundreds of volunteers, the FBI, Texas Rangers Division, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and the US Marshals Service all contributed to the search and investigation.

Our thoughts continue to go out to everybody affected by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Facebook

FedEx issues statement after driver is accused of killing 7-year-old girl in Texas

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

FedEx has issued a statement following the tragic death of seven-year-old Athena Strand in Texas.

On Friday, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin announced that Athena's body was found southeast of the city of Boyd, roughly 11 miles away from her father's home.

The heartbreaking news came after 200 volunteers from the local community joined a desperate search to find the girl after she disappeared from her father's home on Wednesday.

"We knew early on in the investigation that there had been a FedEx driver, made a delivery in front of the house, about the same time that little Athena, 7-year-old Athena, came up missing," Akin told reporters on Friday.

NBC DFW has reported that 31-year-old FedEx contract driver Tanner Lynn Horner is facing aggravated kidnapping and capital murder charges after reportedly confessing to killing Athena.

size-large wp-image-1263181542
Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin has confirmed that the body of 7-year-old Athena Strand has been found. Credit: Facebook

Per CNN, authorities believe the delivery driver snatched the young girl from the property's driveway.

Athena is believed to have died within one hour of being kidnapped.

Horner's bail was set at $1.5 million.

"It’s one of the toughest investigations that I’ve been involved in because it’s a child. And anytime there’s a child that dies, it just hits you in your heart," Akin said during the press conference.

Over the weekend, FedEx provided the following statement to CNN:

"Words cannot describe our shock and sorrow at the reports surrounding this tragic event. First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family during this most difficult time, and we continue to cooperate fully with the investigating authorities."

Akin did not state the exact location where the child's body was found, nor did he provide any motive or cause of death.

Following the devastating news, Athena's mother, Maitlyn Gandy, took to social media to pay tribute to her "princess" - sharing dozens of photos of her daughter to Facebook.

"I want the world to know my baby, my first baby, my first true love, the reason I breathe," she wrote alongside the images. "I love my daughter beyond words and I will always love her."

The mother's post continues: "I cannot describe the pain and absolute anger I feel. Missing her doesn’t cover how I feel. My daughters name is Athena Presley Monroe Strand, which she would happily announce to anyone listening, and anyone not listening she would make listen.

"My princess was taken from me from a sick, cruel monster for absolutely no reason.

"Athena is innocent, beautiful, kind, intelligent, and just the brightest, happiest soul you could ever meet. I don’t want her to be the girl known as the one murdered and discarded by a monster. I want everyone to know, every single person in this world, that this is my baby and my baby was taken from me."

"I want everyone to know her face and her voice and just how wonderful of a person she is," the mom concludes.

In another post, Gandy listed her late daughter's favorite things - noting that her "favorite color is pink. She loves to dress up as the princess we all know she is. When she grows up, she wants to be a Viking princess".

"Athena is loved by mommy and daddy, and all of her sisters, many many aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents," the mom adds.

Referring to the upcoming trial into her daughter's death, Gandy wrote: "She no longer has a voice but I will be the best voice I can as a mother for her and I will not stop."

The grieving mom also thanked the hundreds of volunteers who joined the search for Athena last week, and praised "the departments of the many many different agencies and all of the agencies and organizations that came into Wise County to help me find my baby".

As well as the hundreds of volunteers, the FBI, Texas Rangers Division, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and the US Marshals Service all contributed to the search and investigation.

Our thoughts continue to go out to everybody affected by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Facebook