Authorities in Texas confirmed that the body of a 7-year-old girl who went missing from her family’s Paradise home Wednesday evening was located 10 miles away, in southeast Boyd.
Athena Strand, 7, was kidnapped by FedEx driver Tanner Lynn Horner who confessed to the abduction.
“We knew early on the investigation that there had been a FedEx driver, made a delivery in front of the house, about the same time that little Athena came up missing,” Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said late Friday.
The 31-year-old was linked to Athena’s murder through “digital evidence”, police said without elaborating on the point.
The child was killed “within the very hour or so after her departure from her home.”
Investigators were initially misled by an argument Athena had with her stepmom, moments before she vanished at around 5:45 p.m.
“We know that there was a little bit of an argument between her and her step-mom last night but it isn’t anything unusual,” Akin added.
“There was that argument, then step-mom went to fix dinner, came back to get Athena, and Athena wasn’t in her room.”
Athena’s maternal aunt told reporters that the family “didn’t believe she ran off.”
“She’s a very loving, friendly kid, loves people, loves animals, loves flowers, she’s a very girly girl.”