Mom sends chilling message to 'monster' who is accused of kidnapping and killing her daughter

Ali Condon

Published 
| Last updated 

Mom sends chilling message to 'monster' who is accused of kidnapping and killing her daughter

Featured Image Credit: Facebook

The devastated mother of seven-year-old Athena Strand has sent a scathing message to the man accused of kidnapping and killing her.

Athena had been reported missing earlier last week on 30 November after she disappeared from her father's home in Wise County, Texas.

Just days later, the little girl's body was discovered 11 miles from her home, and FedEx driver Tanner Horner, 31, was arrested and charged in connection with her murder and kidnapping.

After the child's body was found, Athena's mother Maitlyn Gandy, 26, hit out at the 'absolute monster' accused of kidnapping and killing her child in a series of chilling social media posts.

Seven-year-old Athena was tragically kidnapped and killed last week. Credit: Facebook
Seven-year-old Athena was tragically kidnapped and killed last week. Credit: Facebook

"Athena is innocent, beautiful, kind, intelligent, and just the brightest, happiest soul you could ever meet," Maitlyn wrote.

“I don’t want her to be the girl known as the one murdered and discarded by a monster. I want everyone to know, every single person in this world, that this is my baby and my baby was taken from me.

“Athena’s case and the trial against the absolute monster that took her from me, may very well get moved to another county or district in Texas due to the large community involvement (which I am so grateful for)

"I do not want the b*****d that took my baby from me and brutally murdered her to go to any city, town, county, state, or country without every single person knowing her face."

In an earlier post, Maitlyn paid tribute to the officials who helped in the investigation

Athena's body was discovered 11 miles from her home in Wise County, Texas. Credit: NBC DFW
Athena's body was discovered 11 miles from her home in Wise County, Texas. Credit: NBC DFW

"Thank you for finding my baby", she wrote. "I know everyone wishes this would have ended differently."

Athena had been in her father and stepmother's home when she went missing, authorities from the Wise County Sheriff's Office have confirmed.

It's understood that the youngster was dropped home from school at 4.30pm on Wednesday, 30 November.

At 6.40pm, Athena's stepmother called the police to report her missing when she didn't find the child in her bedroom after they had gotten into an argument.

Tanner Horner is expected in court today (Monday, 5 December) for the aggravated kidnapping and capital murder of a person under the age of 10, with a bond set at $1.5 million.

The FedEx contract driver allegedly confessed to abducting and killing Athena, NBC DFW reports.

It is believed Tanner Lynn Horner has confessed to abducting and killing Athena. Credit: Wise County Sheriff's Office
It is believed Tanner Lynn Horner has confessed to abducting and killing Athena. Credit: Wise County Sheriff's Office

Police understand that Tanner Horne had been delivering a package to her home around the time Athena disappeared, according to CBS.

"We knew early on in the investigation that there had been a FedEx driver, made a delivery in front of the house, about the same time that little Athena, 7-year-old Athena, came up missing", said Sheriff Lane Akin.

The Wise County police official added that Athena was likely killed 'within the very hour or so after her departure from her home'.

FedEx has confirmed in a statement that they are continuing to 'cooperate fully with the investigating authorities'.

Topics: News, Crime, US News

Ali Condon
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Technology

Dark theory suggests Super Mario's 1-up mushrooms come from dead Marios

13 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Men look more masculine when they wear make up, study shows

18 hours ago