The body of missing seven-year-old Athena Strand was discovered on Friday, two days after she went missing outside her home in Paradise, Texas.
At a news conference, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said Strand was allegedly abducted and killed by 31-year-old FedEx driver Tanner Lynn Horner, who delivered a package to her home.
Strand likely died “within an hour” of her abduction, Akin said.
Horner had confessed to the crime and was charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping. He is being held on $1.5 million bail in the Wise County Jail, the sheriff added.
“We’re just sad that it didn’t end the way we hoped,” Akin said.
Strand disappeared Wednesday afternoon after returning from school, Akin said at an earlier news conference.
Horner worked for the delivery company as a contractor. He was not related to Strand’s family and did not know Strand or any of his relatives before. He likely abducted her from the driveway of the property, about 200 yards from the house, Akin said.
An extensive search of the area proved futile after Strand’s mother-in-law reported him missing. The girl’s body was discovered about fifteen kilometers from her home.
Strand’s family was “devastated” by his death, Akin said. “They are angry about what happened – a precious child removed from their lives.”
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