A bevy of new, and horrifying, details have come to light concerning the horrible case of a young 7-year-old girl in Texas that was allegedly murdered by a driver working for FedEx this past week.
31-year-old Tanner Horner has allegedly stated to members of law enforcement that he struck Athena Strand with his delivery truck directly after he made a delivery to their house to drop off her Christmas gift, a set of Barbie Dolls titled the “you can be anything” collection, as reported by the New York Post.
Officials for law enforcement were able to recover video footage from the inside of the man’s truck which showed him taking the girl into the van.
When the local investigators found Horner, he quickly told them that “he had taken Athena” and that she was dead.
“[Horner] stated when he was backing up in his Fed Ex truck he accidentally hit Athena with the truck, but she was not seriously injured, panicked and put her in the van,” explained acquired court documents. “[Horner] stated Athena was alive at that time, talking to him, and told him her name was Athena. [Horner] stated he attempted to break Athena’s neck to kill her. [Horner] stated, when he attempted to break Athena’s neck it did not work so he strangled with his bare hands in the back of the Fed Ex van.”
Maitlyn Gandy, Athena’s mother, stated in a press conference, “Athena was robbed of the opportunity to grow up to be anything she wanted to be.”
“And this present ordered out of innocence and love is one she will never receive,” she stated. “Athena’s favorite holiday was Christmas as it is for many children everywhere. The joy Athena gave her family, and the joy she felt on Christmas is something we will never feel with here again.”
For those who don't know–#AthenaStrand was laid to rest today.
— Matt Howerton (@HowertonNews) December 9, 2022
Lane Akin, the Sheriff for Wise County, claimed that his office is pushing to seek the death penalty for Horner due to “the serious nature of the case” and because of Athena’s age.
“There may be some hurdles we may or may not be able to cross – I’ll leave that to the district attorney,” he stated.
The social media accounts owned by Horner were reportedly plastered with images of him holding a baby, as reported by Heavy.com, a website dedicated to fact-finding.
On his Facebook page, he allegedly stated, “love is stupid and not to mention completely asinine.”
He has previously been accused of being “a rapist,” explained the website, as reported by a woman that claims that she spoke with investigators.