Tanner Horner, the FedEx delivery driver accused of killing 7-year-old Athena Strand after hitting her with his vehicle in December, has been indicted in Wise County, Texas, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Wise County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Fox News Digital that Horner, 30, was indicted Thursday on capital murder and aggravated kidnappings charges.
“I would like to thank the Wise County grand jury for their role in this process. Hearing the facts and circumstances of my 7-year-old daughter’s kidnapping and murder was undoubtedly very difficult for them. I want them to know that their work is deeply appreciated,” Athena’s mother, Maitlyn Gandy, said in a Thursday statement, according to FOX 4 Dallas.
She continued: “Tanner Horner’s indictment is the beginning of a long road through the justice system. I appreciate everyone’s continued support and for keeping Athena’s name and memory alive. Please take a moment to hug your children and loved ones. No one is promised another day.”
ATHENA STRAND: FEDEX DRIVER ACCUSED OF 7-YEAR-OLD’S KIDNAPPING, MURDER FACES NEW CHILD SEX ABUSE CHARGES
The 30-year-old said he accidentally struck the girl with his vehicle while delivering packages to her father, Jacob Strand, in Paradise Texas.
ATHENA STRAND’S ALLEGED KILLER WAS DELIVERING 7-YEAR-OLD’S CHRISTMAS PRESENT: MOM
After hitting the 7-year-old, Horner admitted that she was okay and able to talk and tell him her name, but he panicked and shoved her into his van, where he strangled her to death, FOX 4 reported.
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After attempting to break the girl’s neck, Horner resorted to strangling Strand because he was concerned she might tell her father about the situation, according to an affidavit obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Athena was missing for several days before Texas authorities found the girl’s body less than 10 miles from her father’s home in December 2022.