UPDATE: Body of missing 7-year-old found near Boyd

Akin Lane Sheriff WC Boyd, in a southeastern area, said late Friday around 8:45 p.M. That the body of the woman had been found, expressing gratitude to the community, citizens, and other assisting agencies, including the FBI.

Akin expressed, “We hoped it would end in a different way, but sadly it didn’t. We are saddened by the fact that she is on her way to the medical examiner in Ranger, Texas, both behind and in front of her. It hurts our hearts to know that a child has died.”

Lynn Tanner Horner, a FedEx contract driver, has been charged with aggravated kidnapping and capital murder in the Wise County Jail. Akin stated that $1.5 million of bond was placed on him.

Akin stated, “Around the time Athena went missing, we quickly realized that a FedEx driver had made a delivery in front of our house.” “Within approximately an hour after she left home, we believe Athena passed away based on digital evidence and interviews, and it was concluded that the driver kidnapped Athena.”

Akin said that the driver, who wanted assistance in finding and locating the girl, relied on cooperation and digital evidence from FedEx.

Both the Wise County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI stated that the investigation was still unfolding and did not offer additional details.

Akin stated that the efforts of the Texas Rangers and investigators led them to Athena’s whereabouts based on the information they received.

Athena’s stepmother, Strand, reported to the police that she had left home off Paradise Road in County 3573 following an argument and never returned.

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Based on Athena’s social media posts, it appears that her birth mother resides in Oklahoma. When he received the call, Athena’s father abruptly changed direction and headed south for a hunting expedition. Akin mentioned that during that moment, the stepmother was the sole individual present at home.

Akin stated during a press briefing on Friday morning, “The mother, stepmother, and father have all been extremely helpful.” “The interviews have been recorded by a Texas Ranger from the area and one of our investigators,” he further stated.

Around 300 individuals from the local community assembled at the First Baptist Church in Cottondale, extending their assistance in the quest for the girl’s location.

Craig Johnson, the Deputy Chief Sheriff of Wise County, stated that citizens were urged to check their properties, including vehicles, brush, barns, and outbuildings, particularly those in close proximity. He added that with the help of volunteers, they would be able to cover a vast amount of acreage more quickly than they normally would.

The state did not immediately issue the parameters that were set in place, but his office did send the alert to the Department of Public Safety. The investigation faced early criticism because an Amber Alert was not issued until the day after Athena disappeared, according to Akin.

“Clearly, there is cause for worry when a child has not been found within a 24-hour period,” he stated.

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