Who is Tanner Lynn Horner? Unmasking the Killer of 7-Year-Old Athena Strand
Wise County officials said on Friday night that Athena Strand, 7, who had been missing since November 30 and for whom an AMBER Alert had been issued the morning of December 1st, was found dead less than 10 miles from her home.
At a press conference on Friday evening, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin announced that Strand’s body had been discovered around 6 miles southeast of Boyd and that a suspect was in custody.
Akin stated that the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Tanner Lynn Horner, admitted to abducting and murdering the 7-year-old girl to police.
BREAKING: @FedEx responds to the abduction and murder of #AthenaStrand.— Matt Howerton (@HowertonNews) December 3, 2022
Investigators said they cooperated in the investigation Friday that led to the capture of their driver Tanner Lynn Horner. (@wfaa) https://t.co/vFuMrkActA
Who is Tanner Lynn Horner?
Horner was employed with FedEx as a freelancer. Authorities say they discovered early on that the FedEx delivery man had gone to the Strands’ residence when Athena vanished. They worked with FedEx to identify and find him.
According to investigators, he was arrested and confessed to abducting and murdering the 7-year-old girl. Afterward, he pointed officers to her corpse.
Athena’s body was discovered southeast of Boyd, almost 10 miles from where she was reported missing, after initially giving authorities a false location for her body.
FBI Agent Jim Dwyer stated that authorities believe Strand died around one hour after being taken and have digital evidence and statements to support this claim.
Horner, according to authorities, is from Lake Worth and has no apparent criminal history; however, Lake Worth Police Chief J.T Manoushagian tweeted on Friday evening that Horner does not reside in the city.
To be clear, the suspect does NOT reside in the City of Lake Worth, but rather near the lake itself – miles away from COLW.— Chief J.T. Manoushagian (@LWPD_CHIEF) December 3, 2022
Please continue to lift up Athena’s family in prayer along with the officers investigating this heinous crime. https://t.co/26lVUmrnuw
FedEx issued a statement expressing condolences to the family and assuring law enforcement of its full cooperation.
Words cannot describe our shock and sorrow at the reports surrounding this tragic event. First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family during this most difficult time, and we continue to cooperate fully with the investigating authorities. At this time, any further questions should be directed to law enforcement.FedEx highlighted
Horner is being detained in lieu of a $1.5 million bond. No information was provided regarding whether or not he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
FedEx also released this statement on Twitter on Saturday morning:
“Our thoughts are with the family of Athena Strand during this most difficult time. Words cannot describe our shock and sorrow surrounding this tragic event. We continue to cooperate fully with the investigating authorities.”