Where is Athena Strand? 7-yr-old Texas girl vanishes after 'argument' with stepmom when dad wasn't home
WISE COUNTY, TEXAS: A 7-year-old has gone missing from her home in Paradise, Texas. Athena Strand was last seen on the evening of Wednesday, November 30, on County Road in Paradise. Officials have intensified their search and Texas Department of Public Safety has already issued an AMBER Alert on Thursday, December 1. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), said Strand’s health and safety “are in danger.”
Lane Akin, Wise County Sheriff said Strand’s stepmother reported the girl missing after being unable to find her in the room and looking around for an hour, reports NBC. "We're looking at everything from the criminal standpoint or just a missing child so we're not going to leave anything unturned and we're not going to put the blinders on either, Akin added. "It could be any number of things and we're looking at all those possibilities."
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The Wise County Sheriff's Office said they received a call from her stepmother reporting her missing after the two had an argument while her father was not home. Police said she spent "about an hour" looking for her before contacting the sheriff's office, reports CBS.
ACTIVE AMBER ALERT for Athena Strand from Paradise, TX, on 12/01/2022, TX pic.twitter.com/bcUymFRLxz— Texas Alerts (@TX_Alerts) December 1, 2022
Authorities told WFAA that the missing girl probably left after arguing with her parents. The investigative team updated on Friday, December 1, that the status has been changed into an "investigation with a search," as opposed to an "initial search accompanied with an investigation." Many believe that Athena may have gone away from home and then lost her way back, but a relative said she is afraid of the dark. "We definitely don't believe Athena ran off," Athena's aunt Keeland Kulbeth told KXAS.
Volunteers are searching Paradise, TX for seven-year-old Athena Strand. Her family reported her missing just before 7 p.m. last night @wfaa pic.twitter.com/YR8Yb3J6Fv— Sydney Persing (@sydneypersing) December 1, 2022
The young girl was seen wearing a gray long-sleeve shirt with white flowers, blue jeans with white flowers on the pockets, and a pair of brown boots revealing NCMEC and Texas DPS. The 7-year-old also has two red birthmarks on her lower back as per the official page. "Look at how many people are here. It doesn't matter what we're going through, we're all moms, we're all family you know we have to rely on each other for this because we are all out here together," said volunteer Chasity Allerkamp.
Around 200 citizens have been involved in the search operation and covered an estimated 50 acres, so far, as per the sheriff's office. Several departments, including WCSO, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the local Texas Ranger, the Fort Worth Police Department, the Bridgeport Police Department, other local fire departments, Wise County EMS and Search Rescue One (K-9 assisted) are all assisting to the search.
This is a developing story.