Athena Strand latest: Mother posts heartwrenching video as neighbours react to Tanner Horner’s murder arrest

The heartbroken mother of murdered seven-year-old Athena Strand posted an emotional video on social media of the little girl’s sister crying for her brother days before she was found dead in a ditch.

The video, posted by Maitlin Presley Gandy on Monday, shows her other daughter sobbing uncontrollably over her “sissy”. Athena lives in Oklahoma with her mother and sister, but was visiting her father in Paradise, Texas, at the time.

On Wednesday, Athena disappeared from her father’s house and an Amber Alert was issued the next day. Her body was discovered on Friday.

Police said Tanner Lynn Horner, a 31-year-old FedEx truck driver, admitted to abducting the little girl before killing her within an hour of abducting her. He faces charges of capital murder and aggravated kidnapping.

No motive has been given and Mr. Horner does not believe there is any connection to the little girl.

The suspect’s neighbors spoke of their shock at his arrest for murder. “I find it just shocking that it was him,” one woman said.


Tanner Horner’s neighbors react when he is accused of murdering Athena Strand

Authorities announced Friday that FedEx delivery driver Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, was taken into custody for the murder of Athena, who disappeared from her home in Paradise, Texas, on November 30. Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin told reporters that Mr. Horner confessed to killing Athena within an hour of her abduction.

speaking to the Forth Worth Star-TelegramMr. Horner’s neighbors said he lived with his grandmother and mother in Fort Worth’s west neighborhood and that he would leave for weeks at a time before returning home.

Rachel SharpDecember 6, 2022 11:00


A grandfather says he forgives the FedEx driver accused of murdering Athena

“This flesh, this man that I am, is angry and I want 5 minutes alone in a cell with the psychologist who took our Athena from us, but there is a soft gentle voice in the back of my head telling me that I need to forgive him,” he wrote.

the independentRachel Sharp has the story:

Rachel SharpDecember 6, 2022 10:40


Mother shares heartbreaking video of Athena’s sister

Athena’s mother, Maitlin Presley Gandy, posted the video to Facebook on Monday, three days after her child was found dead in Paradise, Texas. The little girl was reported missing on Wednesday (November 30) and suspect Tanner Lynn Horner is now charged with her abduction and murder.

Ms Gandhi explained that the video of her other daughter sobbing uncontrollably at her “sissy” was taken days before Athena disappeared, when the seven-year-old was visiting her father in Texas. At the time, Ms. Gandy said she assured the inconsolable girl that her sister would return to Oklahoma with them soon.

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“This video of [redacted] Begging for her Sissy was Sunday 11/27 when we thought Sissy would only be gone for a few days. I kept telling her, ‘It’s okay, we’ll see Sisi soon,’ not knowing how twisted our lives would become,” Gandhi wrote.

the independent There is the story:

Rachel SharpDecember 6, 2022 10:20


Superintendent of the Athena School District participated in the prayer calls

Rod Townsend, the superintendent of the Paradise Independent School District, called on the school community to pray for the girl and her family.

“It is with a sad and heavy heart that I reach out to you. We have lost a dear member of our student body. Athena Strand was tragically lost this past week,” Mr. Townsend wrote in a post addressed to the school district’s community of students, staff and parents.

“This world will forever be different because she was not allowed to grow and develop into the precious young lady she was meant to be.”

(Myatlin Presley Godney)

Andrea BlancoDecember 6, 2022 08:00


Texans asked to wear pink to honor 7-year-old Athena Strand

Wise County Judge JD Clark said in a statement that pink was Athena’s favorite color and urged everyone to wear pink on Monday.

“My heart is so heavy for Athena,” the judge added. “Additionally, I encourage everyone to join me at 6:30 p.m. Monday on the courthouse steps to pray for Athena, her family, our first responders and our community.”

Athena’s mother also appealed on social media for parents to dress their children in pink as a tribute to her little girl.

“I put my little girl in pink today for Athena. She said “my favorite color is pink too, we could have been friends” I’m praying so much for you. And I’m so sorry,” a mother wrote on Facebook.

Andrea BlancoDecember 6, 2022 06:20


FedEx issues statement after driver arrested in connection with Athena Strand’s murder

In a statement to Fox 4FedEx said: “Words cannot describe our shock and sorrow at the reports surrounding this tragic event.

“First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family at this most difficult time, and we continue to fully cooperate with the investigative authorities. At this point, additional questions should be directed to the law enforcement authorities.”

Authorities initially said Mr. Horner was from the Lake Worth area. Lake Worth City Police Cmdr said in a tweet that he lives by the lake itself.

A Facebook account that appeared to belong to the suspect revealed that he was a father of one, engaged to be married, and was a lead singer in a local band.

Andrea BlancoDecember 6, 2022 04:40


Everything we know about the FedEx driver accused of murdering Athena Strand

According to Wise County Jail records, 31-year-old Tanner Horner was arraigned at 2 a.m. Friday on one count each of capital murder of a person under 10 and aggravated kidnapping.

His bond was set at $1.5 million.

Mr. Horner reportedly worked as an Uber driver and posted on social media about being a musician.

Here’s everything we know about the case:

Andrea BlancoDecember 6, 2022 03:10


ICYMI: Timeline of Athena Strand’s disappearance and murder investigation

Athena was last seen alive at her home in the 200 Block of County Rd 3573 in Paradise around 5:40 pm on Wednesday.

Her stepmother reported her missing about an hour later, prompting a massive search involving multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies using canine units and helicopters with thermal imaging.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin announced at a press conference late Friday that Athena’s body had been found and FedEx driver Tanner Horner had been arrested.

The suspect allegedly confessed to kidnapping Athena and murdered her about an hour later before disposing of her body, Mr. Akin told reporters.

Andrea BlancoDecember 6, 2022 01:40


Tanner Horner’s neighbors were ‘shocked’ by the allegations

Tanner Lynn HornerHis neighbors shared their shock and horror at the news that he was suspected of killing Athena Strand.

Neighbors said Mr. Horner lived with his grandmother and mother in Fort Worth’s west neighborhood and that he would leave for weeks at a time before returning home.

Ayo DoddsDecember 6, 2022 00:07


Athena Strand’s mother says her ‘princess’ was taken by a ‘brutal monster’

The heartbroken mother of Texas schoolgirl Athena Strand has described the suspect who allegedly confessed to her murder as a “sick and cruel monster”.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Athena’s mother Maitlin Gandy wrote that she was struggling to describe the “absolute pain and anger” she felt towards the alleged killer.

“My princess was taken from me by a sick and cruel monster for no reason,” she wrote along with a home video taken of three-year-old Athena.

“Athena is innocent, beautiful, kind, intelligent, and just the brightest, happiest soul you’ll ever meet. I don’t want her to be the girl known for being murdered and dumped 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.”

the independentIvan Harley has the story:

Andrea BlancoDecember 6, 2022 00:05


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