Who is Tanner Lynn Horner? FedEx driver charged with Athena Strand's murder was accused of rape in 2019
WISE COUNTY, TEXAS: A FedEx contract driver was charged with the kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Athena Strand on Friday in North Texas. As of Friday, December 2, Tanner Lynn Horner was being held in a Wise County jail on a $1.5 million bond after being charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping in connection with Athena's death. After her stepmother reported Strand missing two days ago, her body was found on Friday night.
Sheriff Lane Akin of Wise County, Texas, described the probe as a "monumental task." Some of the answers uncovered "weren't some of the ones we would have hoped for," according to Akin. "Her body was recovered about two hours ago, maybe three. Six miles in that direction. It hurts our hearts to know that child died," Akin added. The body of the youngster was on its way to the medical examiner's office, as reported by Newsweek.
Who is Tanner Lynn Horner?
Tanner Lynn Horner, a FedEx courier, is accused of kidnapping and murdering Athena in Paradise, Texas. At a press conference on December 2, 2022, authorities revealed the suspect's identity. He is a former Uber driver and drummer who plastered photos of himself holding a newborn on his social media pages. Horner, 31, is a native of Fort Worth. He appears to have no past criminal history in Tarrant or Wise counties
FedEx issued a statement late Friday, "Words cannot describe our shock at the reports surrounding this tragic event. 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," as reported by Newsweek.
Maitlyn Gandy shared a video of her daughter after she died
After getting the news of her daughter's death, her grieving mother Maitlyn Gandy wrote, "I want the world to know my baby, my first baby, my first true love, the reason I breathe. This is Athena, in our home in Oklahoma when she was three. I’m not sure why it popped up on my Facebook now.. but I love my daughter beyond words and I will always love her. I cannot describe the pain and absolute anger I feel. Missing her doesn’t cover how I feel. My daughters name is Athena Presley Monroe Strand, which she would happily announce to anyone listening, and anyone not listening she would make listen. My princess was taken from me from a sick, cruel monster for absolutely no reason. Athena is innocent, beautiful, kind, intelligent, and just the brightest, happiest soul you could ever meet. I don’t want her to be the girl known as the one murdered and discarded 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. I want everyone to know her face and her voice and just how wonderful of a person she is."
Woman accused Horner of rape in 2019
A woman named Shay Marie shared a post in 2019, claiming Tanner was a "rapist". She wrote, "A gentle reminder that Tanner Horner is a rapist."
The woman was an acquaintance of Tanner, and alleged that he raped her 16 years ago; she shared the post after knowing the same person murdered and raped a 7-year-old.
She shared a post that reads, “Tanner Lynn Horner, the man who raped me at 16, 8 years ago, murdered Athena Strand, a 7-year-old girl. I hope the family gets the justice they deserve. I hope he rots. And I hope that everyone who didn’t believe me, when I’ve talked about this for EIGHT F****** YEARS, does now. F*** ALL of you.”
Athena was kidnapped in her own driveway. Horner led police to the body after first leading them on a wild goose chase to two bogus sites, according to the sheriff.