The tranquility of the small town of Paradise, in Texashas been abruptly interrupted after local authorities found the body of Athena Strand, a 7-year-old girl who was reported missing in the middle of last week.
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Little Athena was on vacation at her father’s house. According to research so far, the girl argued with her stepmother and left the house. An article from Univisión reports that it was not the first time that a meeting like this had happened between the girl and her stepmother, but unlike previous occasions, this time Athena did not return.
At 6:40 pm the woman reported the disappearance of the girlan Amber alert was activated and less than half an hour later 300 volunteers, 50 officers, drones, dogs and a helicopter were looking for the girl.
The searches, which were also joined by an FBI team and which included computer searches, interviews and visits to registered sex offenders, however, were unsuccessful.
until a neighbor approached investigators with information that completely changed the course of the case.
According to the clue, a FedEx truck had arrived at Athena’s father’s house to leave a package near the time of his disappearance.
According to the agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, James Dwyer, the company immediately cooperated with the investigations.
Two days after Athena’s disappearance, at 1 pm on Friday, a SWAT team entered the home of Tanner Lynn Hornera 31-year-old man who works as a delivery man.
The man confessed that he had murdered the girl and provided two false locations authorities about the whereabouts of the body. Finally, investigators found Athena’s body 12 kilometers from her house.
Horner was booked into the Wise County Jail on charges of aggravated kidnapping and murder, along with $1.5 million bail.
Last Thursday, Wise County authorities released Horner’s statement.
According to the document, collected by the Univisión network, the delivery man left a package at Athena’s father’s house. It was the gift that the girl would receive at Christmas.
Backing up his truck, Horner accidentally ran over Athena. The girl, however, got up and warned that she would tell her father what had happened.
The delivery man would have panicked, so he forced the girl to get into the vehicle. Once she was inside the truck, she tried to break his neck, but failed to do so. decided to strangle the girl.
Later, he left the body in a water source located on the road CR 4668, a few kilometers from Paradise.
“My emotions are shattered and I have tried to maintain my composure. I’ve been awake since Wednesday morning, when I got up to go to work. Please hold your children tighter than usual for me tonight,” wrote Maitlyn Presley Gandy, Athena’s mother, on her Facebook account.
“This is the monster that took my baby and this world from me. You will know his name, Tanner. Her name is Athena Presley Monroe Strand. I know her date of birth, 8/8/1991. Do you know hers? I’ll make sure you know what you took from me and her dad, ”added her mother in another post.
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