Authorities in Texas say a FedEx driver has been charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping after the body of missing 7-year-old Athena Strand was discovered.
At a press conference Friday, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said Strand was abducted and killed by Tanner Lynn Horner, who had delivered a package to her house.
The girl’s body was found two days after she disappeared from outside her home in Paradise, Texas. Strand likely died within an hour of her kidnapping, according to Akin.
Authorities say that Horner has confessed to killing the girl. He is being held on $1.5 million bond in Wise County Jail, the sheriff added.
“We’re just sad that it didn’t end the way that we would hope that it would end,” said Akin.
Strand went missing Wednesday after returning home from school, the sheriff said during an earlier press conference.
Horner worked for FedEx as a contractor. He was not related to Strand’s family and did not know the girl or her family previously, according to Akin. The sheriff said that Horner likely abducted her on the property’s driveway, around 200 yards from the house.
Extensive searches of the local area proved futile after Strand’s stepmother reported her missing. The girl’s body was discovered some 10 miles from her home.
Strand’s family was “devastated” by her death, said Akin. “They’re angry because of what happened ― a precious child taken from their lives.”