Athena Strand’s mum reveals what she would do to FedEx driver Tanner Lynn Horner who ‘kidnapped and killed a 7-year-old daughter’

ATHENA Strand’s mother has spoken out about what she would do if given the chance to speak to her daughter’s alleged killer.

In her first television interview, Maitlyn Strand said she would tell Athena’s alleged killer that “he is nothing, but Athena is absolutely everything”.

The 7-year-old was allegedly kidnapped and killed by FedEx driver Tanner Lynn Horner


The 7-year-old was allegedly kidnapped and killed by FedEx driver Tanner Lynn HornerPhoto credit: Facebook/ Maitlyn Presley Gandy
Athena's mother Maitlyn spoke out in her first television interview


Athena’s mother Maitlyn spoke out in her first television interviewCredit: AP
Horner is charged


Horner is chargedPhoto credit: TikTok/@tandlaw777

Athena was allegedly killed by a FedEx delivery driver who was delivering a package to her father, Jacob, where she was staying.

Police say Tanner Horner allegedly turned in Barbie dolls to be her Christmas gifts on the day of her disappearance, WFAA reports.

He allegedly told police he accidentally hit Anthea with his car, panicked and, while she was still alive, took her into the van and strangled her.

Horner led police to a rural part of Boyd, where he said he hid Athena’s body.

Mother of girl strangled by FedEx driver vows to'be her voice and won't stop'
Missing girl's mother posts devastating coffin pic after driver kills her

The investigation is ongoing and an autopsy is pending.

Maitlyn, who had joint custody of Athena, said in her interview with the WFAA that she hopes Horner gets the death penalty.

She added she hopes Horner gets the maximum sentence he can get while indicted.

“I support the death penalty,” Maitlyn said. “Every breath he takes is one my daughter doesn’t.”

Horner is charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping.

Athena’s family is taking legal action against FedEx, FedEx Ground and the contractor Horner hired to build Big Topspin Inc., according to the WFAA.

“Our thoughts remain with Athena Strand’s family following this tragedy,” FedEx told the outlet in a statement.

“We are aware of the complaint against FedEx Ground.”


While an investigation is ongoing, Maitlyn said if Horner’s confession was true, there would have been room for forgiveness if only he had done the right thing.

“Jacob and I are very forgiving people,” Maitlyn said. “If Athena hadn’t been injured or if there had only been bruises and bruises, he could have just driven away.

“We wouldn’t have gone after him legally.

“We wouldn’t have done anything. We would have forgiven him because accidents happen.

“But he decided to do more. And what he did is unforgivable.”

She said doing Athena’s hair and dressing her for the funeral caused her to question why Athena couldn’t have left after being hit.

“I have a hard time believing that I didn’t think Athena could have just walked away, and I’m by no means a coroner,” Maitlyn said.

“I think Athena could have just walked away, and I wish he would have let her.”

She also said that if she ever faced the alleged killer, she didn’t think he would give her the answers she needed to hear.


Maitlyn said Officer Lane Akin broke the news to her that Athena’s body had been found, along with Jacob, Athena’s stepmother, Jacob’s parents, and her parents.

“I asked for our parents to be there,” she said.

They were escorted into the room by an FBI trauma agent, Maitlyn said.

“I knew from the moment Sheriff Aiken walked in that he would tell me anything that I thought had happened,” he said.

“It’s hard to look people in the eye when you tell them the worst news of their lives.

And so I knew when he walked into the room and looked down and he just curled his lips.”

Maitlyn then described the heartbreaking moment she learned her daughter wouldn’t be coming home, noting that she “stopped breathing”.

“I don’t remember what he said,” she said.

“I just remember feeling broken and empty. And I couldn’t breathe. I literally screamed and it took my dad and the FBI trauma agent to get me breathing again.”


Maitlyn remembered Athena as an adorable and lovable child.

“I don’t know a person in this world who has never not loved Athena.

“I think it’s hard not to love a kid in general,” she said.

“But it was extremely difficult not to love Athena.”

Maitlyn said Athena’a teachers described her as a “free spirit” and “wild” kid who loved jumping in muddy puddles.

Maitlyn’s voice trembled as she pointed out how smart she was.

Athena was also “loving and kind”.

“Athena ran up to everyone, screamed their name, hugged them and said hello because she didn’t know any strangers,” Maitlyn said.

“Your upbringing was the best seven years of my life.”


Maitlyn also addressed how difficult the past few weeks have been for her family

“It was tough for my daughter and my three-year-old,” she said.

“She doesn’t understand why she can’t call Sissy or why Sissy hasn’t come home yet. Because that’s a very long time for her without seeing her sister.

“We’re coping, we’re trying to function, it’s been a long time, it’s been hard.”

“It feels very chaotic at the same time. Lots of moving parts.”

The loss has also left Maitlyn frightened and concerned for her own safety.

“I don’t sleep very often, as long as people should,” she said.

“Nocturnal noises scare me. I check my doors three times every night. I’m holding my three year old tighter and I’m afraid to let her go. Everything is just very, very scary.”


The funeral, Maitlyn said, was fit for a “Viking Princess”.

Everyone was dressed in pink, stuffed animals were everywhere, and Disney songs were playing, handpicked by Athena’s parents and stepmother.

“I didn’t want people to be sadder than they already felt,” Maitlyn said.

“I wanted people to see Athena for Athena.

“I wanted you to know what Athena loves”

She added Athena looked “beautiful” and “very comfortable” in her coffin.

Maitlyn was the last person to see Athena before the coffin was closed.

“I was the last person to see her face and I closed her coffin before her father, uncles and grandfathers carried her out,” she said.

“I just held her hand and kissed her and told her how sorry I was and how much I love her and that was the last time I saw her.”


Maitlyn hopes this tragedy will encourage people to appreciate their time with their children.

“I would do anything to go back to May 23, 2015 and relive every moment from that point on,” Maitlyn said.

“That’s what I want people to know. I want people to know her.”

Sharon was hospitalized after falling ill while filming a ghost show on the
I ate Buddy the Elf's breakfast pasta - people say it's sick, but I don't care

“She’s not just a name and she’s not just a face. She was a real little girl. She was taken from me and we must do better to protect our children and expect better things from other people.” Athena Strand’s mum reveals what she would do to FedEx driver Tanner Lynn Horner who ‘kidnapped and killed a 7-year-old daughter’


Daily Nation Today is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button