FedEx driver charged with kidnapping and murdering 7-year-old girl
A FedEx driver confessed to kidnapping and murdering a seven-year-old girl after he delivered a package to her family home in Texas
December 5, 2022 8:07pm
Updated: December 5, 2022 8:09pm
A FedEx driver confessed to kidnapping and murdering a seven-year-old girl after he delivered a package to her family home in Texas, authorities said on Friday.
Athena Strand went missing on Wednesday in Paradise, Texas, about 40 minutes northwest of Fort Worth. Authorities searched for the missing girl with the help of nearly 200 volunteers, dogs, and a helicopter with thermal imaging.
However, police found Athena’s body near Boyd Texas, said Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin. After an investigation, authorities believe that she was killed about one hour after she was kidnapped. Authorities did not specify how she died or the location of where her body was found.
"The answers were not the answers that we would have hoped that we would have gotten. And we want to send our condolences out to the family of Athena Strand," Akin said.
Police identified and located the delivery driver through digital evidence and by working with FedEx in the investigation.
The FedEx driver, identified as Taner Lynn Horner, was arrested and is being charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping. He is being held on a $1.5 million bond.
Authorities said Horner did not know the family or the girl before he abducted her.
"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. At this time, any further questions should be directed to law enforcement," FedEx said in a statement to ABC News.
The investigation is still ongoing.