According to the sheriff’s office in Wise County, Texas, Tanner Horner, a FedEx delivery driver, has been charged with killing Athena Strand, 7, after striking her with his car in December.
Horner, 30, was charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping on Thursday, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Fox News Digital.
“I want to acknowledge the contribution of the Wise County grand jury to this procedure. It was obviously very tough for them to learn the details and circumstances surrounding the kidnapping and murder of my 7-year-old daughter. I want them to know how much I value what they do, “According to FOX 4 Dallas, Marilyn Gandy, Athena’s mother, stated Thursday.
She went on: “The indictment of Tanner Horner marks the start of a protracted legal process. I value everyone’s ongoing assistance in preserving Athena’s name and memory. Give your children and other loved ones a hug. Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.”
The 30-year-old said that while delivering packages to the girl’s father, Jacob Strand, in Paradise, Texas, he accidentally struck the girl with his car.
Horner acknowledged that the 7-year-old was alright after being beaten and that she could speak and give him her name, but he panicked and shoved the child into his van, where he strangled her to death, according to FOX 4.
According to an affidavit obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Horner tried to break the girl’s neck but gave up and strangled Strand out of fear that she could tell her father about the incident.
Authorities in Texas searched for Athena for many days before discovering her body in December 2022, less than 10 miles from her father’s house.