The suspect told detectives he killed the girl because "she was going to tell her father about being hit by the FedEx truck," the warrant states.
Author:
Published: 2022-12-08 10:42 pm
Delivery driver confessed to strangling Texas girl, warrant says
www.cbsnews.com

A delivery driver suspected in the murder of a 7-year-old girl in North Texas told investigators that he accidentally struck her with his van prior to strangling her, according to an arrest warrant.

The suspect, 31-year-old Tanner Lynn Horner, told Wise County Sheriff's detectives that he was backing up a FedEx truck when he struck 7-year-old Athena Strand last Wednesday, per an arrest warrant obtained Thursday by CBS DFW.

Horner told investigators that, after hitting Strand, he panicked and placed her inside the truck, the arrest warrant reads. He also told police that, after hitting her, Strand was not seriously hurt and was "alive" and "talking to him," according to the warrant.

He told detectives he then killed Strand because "she was going to tell her father about being hit by the FedEx truck," the warrant states.

(image)
An undated photo of 7-year-old Athena Strand, who went missing from a home in Paradise, Texas, on Nov. 30, 2022. Her body was found two days later, on Dec. 2.  Maitlyn Gandy/Facebook

According to the warrant, Horner said that he initially tried to break Strand's neck, but when that failed, he strangled her.

Strand was reported missing from her father and stepmother's home in Paradise, Texas, on Nov. 30 prompting a massive search. Two days later, according to the warrant, Horner led investigators to her body in the Wise County town of Boyd, located about 10 miles from Paradise.

A contract driver for FedEx, Horner had delivered a package to the house at about the same time Strand disappeared, Wise County Sheriff's officials had previously reported.

In a news conference Thursday in Decatur, Texas, Strand's mother, Maitlyn Gandy, who resides in Oklahoma, said that the delivery was Strand's Christmas present.

"The packages contained, 'You Can Be Anything' Barbies," Gandy told reporters. "Athena was robbed of the opportunity to grow up to be anything she wanted to be. And this present, ordered out of innocence and love, is one she will never receive."

Gandy also said that she was supposed to bring Strand "back home to Oklahoma after Christmas break."

The warrant states that after Strand's disappearance, investigators worked with Big Topspin, the contracting company hired by FedEx to deliver packages, to determine "which van and driver had made the delivery."

The van was equipped with cameras that captured footage of the suspect placing a girl who fit Strand's description in the van, the warrant reads.

When investigators located and interviewed Horner, he confessed to them that Strand was dead, the warrant said.

Horner, of Lake Worth, Texas, is being held on capital murder and aggravated kidnapping charges. His bail has been set at $1.5 million. He has no criminal history. 

Paradise is located in the Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington metro area, about 40 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

Read Full Story

Civilians at risk as cease-fire collapses in Aleppo

www.cbsnews.com - 2 years ago
A new humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the Syrian city of Aleppo, after a day-old cease-fire appeared to fall apart. Rebels and pro-government troops on the verge of retaking the whole city are attacking each other with gunfire and shelling. The United
Read More

"CBS Evening News" headlines for Wednesday, February 9, 2022

www.cbsnews.com - 12 months ago
Here's a look at the top stories making headlines on the "CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell."
Read More

President Trump: I never spoke with Sec. Mnuchin about my tax returns

www.cbsnews.com - 2 years ago
In response to Secretary Mnuchin's comment that "the president has no intention" of releasing tax returns, President Trump says the two have never discussed the issue. "Honestly, he's never asked me about it," Trump concedes.
Read More

American Carissa Moore wins first Olympic women's surfing gold

www.cbsnews.com - 2 years ago
She was a child prodigy from Hawaii who grew up to be the youngest world champion surfer and a four-time world champ.
Read More