FedEx driver charged in 7-year-old Athena Strand’s death delivered her Christmas present before abducting her

Athena Strand, 7, received Barbie dolls for Christmas from the FedEx driver who is accused of abducting and killing her, according to her mother, who spoke out on Thursday.

At a press conference, Maitlyn Gandy demanded stronger screening procedures for delivery drivers.

The box of Barbie dolls with the slogan “You can be anything” sat next to her on an easel. She claimed that it was the first time she had ever seen the gift.

Gandy said while crying, “Athena was robbed (of) the potential to be anything she wanted to be.” “A man that everyone was supposed to be able to trust to accomplish just one basic task — give a Christmas present and go — robbed me of witnessing her grow up.”

On November 30, Athena vanished from the driveway of her Wise County, Texas, home. Her corpse was found Friday night after a countywide search, according to Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin. Her cause of death is still being looked at, but authorities believe she was slain an hour after her alleged kidnapping, Akin said on Friday.

a FedEx driver has been detained in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a 7-year-old child who vanished outside her house this week, according to authorities

Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, has been named as the suspect and is a FedEx contract driver, according to the authorities, Akin said. When Athena vanished, he allegedly brought a gift to her father’s house, according to the police.

According to the jail’s website, Horner is being detained in the Wise County jail on accusations of aggravated kidnapping and capital murder. According to Akin, a $1.5 million bond was imposed. CNN has made numerous unsuccessful attempts to track down legal counsel for Horner.

Warrant: Driver was afraid Athena would get him in trouble

According to two arrest warrants acquired by CNN affiliate KTVT, Horner claimed detectives he inadvertently hit Athena while he was backing up his delivery truck; even though she wasn’t gravely hurt, he panicked and threw her inside the van before killing her.

Horner allegedly admitted to officials that he strangled the girl because “she was going to tell her father about being hit by the car,” according to the warrants, one issued for each offense.

The warrants state that once detectives learned Athena vanished around the time a FedEx delivery was made to the residence, Horner was located by his employer, a FedEx subcontractor. According to the warrants, surveillance footage from the truck showed the child inside speaking to the driver.

Horner led detectives to the child’s body after being questioned, and he surrendered without a hitch, according to a warrant.Sheriff Akin ignored CNN’s messages on Thursday afternoon.

According to the authorities, Horner didn’t know the youngster or the family, Akin earlier said.

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