New details are emerging in connection with a man accused of kidnapping and murdering 7-year-old Athena Strand, a Texas girl found dead Friday in Wise County.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, has been arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping and capital murder. Investigators say he admitted to kidnapping Athena after they questioned him.
On Friday afternoon, Horner told investigators where to find her, around 10 miles from her Paradise home.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, police said Horner was a contract FedEx driver delivering a package to Strand’s home on Thursday when he kidnapped her and murdered her within about an hour.
Horner’s social media account indicated that he was also an Uber driver and a musician who attended Azle High School in Azle, Texas. He lives outside of the Fort Worth city limits, near the Lake Worth area, police said.
“To be clear, the suspect does NOT reside in the City of Lake Worth, but rather near the lake itself – miles away from COLW,” Lake Worth Police Chief J.T. Manoushagian posted on Twitter. “Please continue to lift up Athena’s family in prayer along with the officers investigating this heinous crime.”
To be clear, the suspect does NOT reside in the City of Lake Worth, but rather near the lake itself – miles away from COLW.
Please continue to lift up Athena’s family in prayer along with the officers investigating this heinous crime.
— Chief J.T. Manoushagian (@LWPD_CHIEF) December 3, 2022
Although Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said that Horner admitted to the crime, there was no motive provided, and Turney likely did not know the family, Fox 4 reports.
According to investigators, Strand got off a bus around 4:15 p.m. and was missing from the residence at some point before 5:15 p.m., which is when the stepmother noticed the child was gone.
Strand and the stepmother had reportedly argued at some point before the girl went missing. The stepmother looked for Strand for about an hour and then called police.
Officials searched for the girl for two days, with dozens of law enforcement and hundreds of volunteers joining the effort.
Police said they received information about a contract FedEx delivery driver who had been at the girl’s home when she vanished. Investigators worked with FedEx to identify and locate that driver, who turned out to be Horner.
In a statement, FedEx said it was cooperating with authorities.
“Words cannot describe our shock and sorrow at the reports surrounding this tragic event,” a spokesperson for FedEx told Fox News. “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.”
Horner is in the Wise County Jail on a $1.5 million bond. He doesn’t appear to have a previous criminal history.
[Featured image: Tanner Horner; Athena Strand/Facebook]