Arrest Made After Missing 7-Year-Old Texas Girl Found Dead

By Bill Galluccio

December 3, 2022

Tanner Lynn Horner, 31
Photo: Wise County Sheriff's Office

An independent contractor who worked for FedEx has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a missing seven-year-old girl from Texas.

Athena Strand was reported missing on Wednesday (November 30) after being abducted from the driveway in front of her home. Hundreds of police and volunteers began a massive search for the young girl.

Her body was located on Friday evening in the town of Boyd, about six miles from her home. Police said they received a tip that led them to the suspect, 31-year-old Tanner Lynn Horner. He confessed to abducting the girl while he was delivering a package to her house and then killing her.

Officials said she died within an hour of being kidnapped. They did not say why Horner kidnapped and killed Athena but noted that he did not know her or her family beforehand.

"It hurts our hearts to know that child died," Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said during a press conference. "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."

Horner was charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping. He is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

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