THE mother of Athena Strand has spoken out after a FedEx driver was charged with kidnapping and murdering the seven-year-old.
Athena was allegedly kidnapped from her family’s home in Paradise, Texas last month by the driver who was reportedly delivering Barbies ahead of the holiday.
“She was an amazing little girl who loved dancing, singing and all animals,” said Maitlyn Gandy.
“She also loved school and all her friends in first grade.”
Tanner Horner, a 31-year-old FedEx driver who is delivering one of Athena’s Christmas presents, allegedly confessed to the murder last week, investigators said.
“I was robbed to watch her grow up by a man everyone should trust to do one simple task: deliver Christmas packages and leave,” Gandy said.
At the press conference, the grieving mother showed off the gift, a box of You Can Be Anything Barbie dolls.
“Athena was deprived of the opportunity to become what she wanted,” Gandy said.
She added that Christmas is her daughter’s favorite holiday.
Family attorney Benson Varghese also spoke at the press conference.
While he said the family’s focus for now is on grief, going forward they want to hold accountable any person or company who could have stopped the crime.
“Companies like FedEx are welcome in our homes to bring packages to our doorstep, no danger,” Varghese said.
Horner was a contract worker for FedEx who didn’t know the family, KPRC reported. Gandy wants delivery companies to be more careful about who they hire.
“Screening and hiring policies need to be put in place so monsters in delivery uniforms don’t show up at our kids’ doorsteps,” she said.
The 7-year-old was reported missing on November 30. Authorities found her body six miles from the family home on December 2.
Gandy said her daughter’s remains would be cremated for her to return to her home in Oklahoma. Athena was staying with her father and stepmother when she was kidnapped.
According to KPRC, Horner is currently being held on a $1.5 million bond.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6873189/athena-strand-mother-speaks-fedex-driver-murder/ Heartbroken mom speaks out after ‘FedEx driver delivering Barbies kills daughter’