PARADISE, Texas (AP) — A 7-year-old Texas girl has been found dead two days after she was reported missing, and a FedEx delivery driver has been arrested in her death, authorities said.
Athena Strand’s body was found Friday and Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, was arrested on kidnapping and murder charges after she confessed to killing the girl and told authorities where to find her body, according to Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin.
Horner was held on Saturday on $1.5 million bail. There was no lawyer listed in the prison records to speak on his behalf.
Akin said at a news conference late Friday that a tip led authorities to Horner, who the sheriff said had delivered to the girl’s home shortly before she disappeared.
Horner did not know the girl’s family, according to Akin, who declined to discuss a motive for the crime.
“We really can’t go into the contents of the confession, but I will say we have a confession” from Horner, Akin said.
The girl’s stepmother had reported her missing Wednesday from her family home near Paradise on the northwest edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
Her body was found near the town of Boyd, about 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) southeast of Paradise, a town of about 475 people, Akin said.
James Dwyer, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s field office in Dallas, said FedEx was cooperating with investigators.
FedEx said in a statement that it is cooperating with law enforcement agencies investigating the matter.
“Our thoughts are with Athena Strand’s family at this very difficult time,” the statement said. “Words cannot describe our shock and sadness at this tragic event.”