Alleged kidnapper Tanner Horner’s dark past has been revealed as Athena Strand’s mother broke her silence on the ‘monster’ that killed her daughter.
Police found Athena’s body six miles from her home on Friday after the seven-year-old was kidnapped by FedEx driver Tanner Horner, 31, two days earlier.
Athena was reported missing from her home in Paradise, Texas on Wednesday night.
The driver reportedly confessed and is being held at the Wise County Jail on felony murder and aggravated kidnapping, police say.
Athena’s grieving mother, Maitlyn Presley Gandy, paid tribute to her “princess” who was “taken from me by a sick, cruel monster for no reason,” she said in a Facebook post.
“Athena is innocent, beautiful, kind, intelligent and just plain the smartest, happiest soul you could ever meet,” Maitlyn wrote.
Maitlyn said the “pain and absolute anger” she felt was beyond words.
“I don’t want her to be the girl known as the one who was murdered by a monster and thrown away.
“I want everyone to know, every single person in this world, that this is my baby and my baby was taken from me,” she wrote.
Although Horner confessed to the kidnapping and murder of Athena, a victim came forward to share another heinous act Horner committed years earlier.
A 23-year-old Texas girl, Shay Marie, has claimed in multiple Facebook posts that Horner allegedly raped her in 2014 when she was 16.
In one of the posts, she shared a screenshot of a conversation between her and Horner’s then-girlfriend, explaining the incident.
Marie wrote that Horner “got me drunk with the intention of having sex with me. I was almost completely drunk when he decided to rape me.
“I couldn’t physically fight him. My body didn’t want to move.”
Horner’s own social media posts reveal that he was in a band called Commit and Conquer.
Horner shared a series of lyrics, which read, “Sometimes I hear her cry. Silence is the dirtiest trick in life. If I’m so empty, why do I feel alive. Let’s go back to last thing, keep your mouth shut and those legs tangled tight.”
In a 2018 Instagram post, Horner wrote a chilling message about love.
He said, “I don’t understand how people are okay with themselves when they know they’ve emotionally destroyed someone.”
Horner also said: “F*** love. love hurts you Take care and f*** everyone else. Who gives f*** anymore anyway.”
He described himself on his Facebook page as “aspie. non-neurotypic. Musician. metal head Love is stupid, let alone downright idiotic.”
The US Sun reached out to Maitlyn and Marie for comment, as well as the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, but no response had been received at the time of publication.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues addressed in this story, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6833959/killer-tanner-horner-kidnapped-athena-strand-dark-past/ The dark past of Athena Strand’s “kidnapper” Tanner Horner emerges as the girl’s heartbroken mother breaks the silence on “Monster.”