Killer FedEx driver ‘snatched girl, 7, and murdered her after delivery to home’

A seven-year-old girl was allegedly kidnapped and killed by a FedEx driver who delivered to her home, police have said.

Athena Strand, seven, went missing on Wednesday, November 30, in the town of Paradise, Texas.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin held a press conference on Friday evening, December 2, saying her body had been found and suspect Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, had confessed to murder.

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Sheriff Akin became emotional as he announced that a "body had been recovered" in the search.

"It hurts our hearts to know that that child died," he said. "So much so, that she is on her way to the medical examiner's office, and there's a Texas ranger in front of her, and there's a Texas ranger behind her".

Athena's body was found 10 miles away from her home, police said.

Investigators determined that a contract FedEx delivery driver "had abducted Athena" from her home and believe she died "within an hour or so" of being taken.

Police named the suspect as Tanner Lynn Horner, from Lake Worth, Texas.

Some reports stated that the youngster was outside her home after an argument with her step-mother when Horner was delivering a package.

The alarm was raised when the step-mother noticed that she didn't come back into the house, and couldn't be found anywhere.

Horner is being held in county jail and is charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping.

He has confessed to the crime and his bond is set at $1.5 million, police said.

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Sheriff Akin added that Horner did not know Athena nor was he related to her.

The FBI said they partnered with FedEx to compile digital evidence which helped them locate the suspect driver.

Sheriff Akin said he had spent time with the family and that they were "devastated and angry" but grateful for the support of the community at such a devastating time.

He urged the press to "give them the privacy they need".

Sheriff Akin, who has been in law enforcement for 50 years, said this was "one of the toughest investigations" he'd ever been involved in.

"Anytime there's a child that dies, it just hits you in the heart," he said. "You compare that child to your own children when they were that age. It just takes the wind out of your sails."

FedEx released a statement expressing their condolences to the girl's family.

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