GRAPHIC: Court docs shed more light on murder of Athena Strand

31-year-old Tanner Lynn Horner is facing capital murder and kidnapping charges for the death of...
31-year-old Tanner Lynn Horner is facing capital murder and kidnapping charges for the death of 7-year-old Athena Strand.
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:52 PM CST
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WISE COUNTY, Texas (KSWO) - New details are coming to light in the murder of a Stephens County girl in Texas.

Some of the details are graphic.

31-year-old Tanner Lynn Horner is facing capital murder and kidnapping charges for the death of 7-year-old Athena Strand.

Court documents say Horner was a driver for “Big Topspin,” a company contracted by FedEx.

He was reportedly making deliveries in Wise County on November 30th and investigators say he delivered a package to Athena’s dad’s house, where she was staying at the time.

According to court documents, a subsequent search warrant for Big Topspin uncovered video showing Athena getting into a FedEx van. The driver of that van was allegedly identified as Horner.

Court documents go on to say during an interview, Horner admitted to hitting Athena with his van. He reportedly told investigators he panicked and brought her into his vehicle.

Court documents say he then tried breaking her neck but ended up strangling her with his bare hands. He told police Athena was still talking to him before he killed her.

“I was supposed to bring Athena back home to Oklahoma after Christmas break,” Athena’s mom Maitlyn Gandy said. “Now instead Athena will be cremated, and she will come home in an urn. Because I’m not even I’m not anywhere close to being ready to let my baby go.”

Horner remains in jail on a $1.5 million bond.

Wise County Sheriff’s say they plan to ask the District Attorney to seek the death penalty.