Tanner Horner, Athena Strand Suspect: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

tanner lynn horner athena strand suspect

Wise County Jail/Facebook Tanner Lynn Horner is accused in the abduction and murder of Athena Strand in Texas.

Tanner Lynn Horner is the FedEx driver accused of abducting and murdering 7-year-old Athena Strand in Paradise, Texas.

Authorities released the suspect’s name in a December 2, 2022, news conference. He is a former Uber driver and drummer who plastered his social media pages with photos showing him holding a newborn.

“We’re sad it didn’t end the way we hoped it would end,” Wise County, Texas, Sheriff Lane Akin said, confirming that the child was murdered. The suspect’s full name is Tanner Lynn Horner. The sheriff said that Horner confessed.

tanner horner

FacebookTanner Horner pictured in a photo from his Facebook page.

The arrest marked the end of a two-day search for the little girl, who authorities say was abducted from her driveway. According to a Facebook post from her mother, Athena was last seen alive at her father’s house in Paradise, Texas, at approximately 5:30 p.m. on November 30, 2022. An Amber Alert was issued.

Here’s what you need to know about Tanner Horner:

1. Tanner Horner Described Himself as an ‘Aspie’ & ‘Metalhead’ Musician on Facebook; the Sheriff Confirmed Athena’s Body Was Discovered

tanner horner

FacebookTanner Horner.

Akin called the investigation a “monumental task.” Some of the answers discovered “were not some of the answers we would have hoped” to have gotten, Akin said.

“Her body was recovered about two hours ago, maybe three. Six miles in that direction. It hurts our hearts to know that child died,” Akin said.

The child’s body was on the way to the medical examiner’s office, he said. “There’s a Texas Ranger in front of her, and there’s a Texas Ranger behind her,” said Akin. “This community does not like losing our children.”

On Facebook, Horner, 31, described himself as “aspie. non-neurotypical. musician. metalhead. love is stupid and not to mention completely asinine.”

He wrote that he was a “Former Drummer at Walmart” who “Worked at Buried A Lie” and was a “Former Drummer at Albertsons.” He studied at Azle High School and wrote that he was in a relationship. He filled his Facebook and Instagram pages with pictures of him holding a small baby.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tanner Horner (@cnc_twitch)

On Instagram, he referred to himself as “Vocalist of commit and conquer. Autistic as ligma.”

People have filled up his social media pages with angry comments. “Im sexy and i know it 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘” Horner wrote with one selfie he posted to Instagram using the name @cnc_twitch. “Burning in hell,” a person responded.

2. Athena’s Mom Wrote, ‘Please Help Me Find My Daughter’

Before the child’s body was discovered, Athena’s mother turned to social media for help.

Maitlyn Gandy, Athena’s mother, wrote on Facebook, “Please help me find my daughter, Athena Presley Monroe Strand. She has been missing since 11/30/2022 @ 05:30p in the area of Paradise, Texas!”

She also wrote, “Please remember Athena is a very real, very loved little girl and her momma misses her very very much and mommas number one wish is to bring her home.”

In another heartbreaking post, she wrote:

Athena is still missing and we are now over the 24 hour point. Thank you to my wonderful family and the large support from the Wise County community. We are continuing our search. I ask that everyone pray.. pray some more, continue to pray, and never stop praying. I cannot live without my baby and I need her brought home safely to me. Athena didn’t walk away or disappear on her own. I will not give up or stop until I have Athena back. I feel like there is a hole in my heart and half of my soul is missing. An amber alert was issued earlier today. Please do not give up on my baby.

No criminal history comes up in Texas statewide records for Horner.

3. Tanner Lynn Horner, Who Was Accused of Being a ‘Rapist’ in a 2019 Facebook Post, Made a Delivery Near the Girl’s House, the Sheriff Says

tanner lynn horner

FacebookTanner Lynn Horner.

The FedEx driver “made a delivery in front of the house about the same time” as 7-year-old Athena went missing, Akin said. She was abducted from her own driveway, he said.

“The driver abducted Athena,” the sheriff said.

“We think Athena died within … the very hour or so after the departure from her home.” According to the sheriff, Horner led police to the body after first sending them on a wild goose chase to two false locations.

Horner was a contract driver for FedEx, authorities said.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tanner Horner (@cnc_twitch)

In 2019, a woman wrote on Facebook, “friendly reminder that Tanner Horner is a rapist💕.” In the comment thread, another woman said he drove for Uber. “a transphobic rapist in a pop punk band, what a shocker,” added another.

The woman who wrote the post added in another, “Tanner Lynn Horner, the man who raped me at 16, 8 years ago, murdered Athena Strand, a 7 year old girl. I hope the family gets the justice they deserve. I hope he rots. And I hope that everyone who didn’t believe me, when I’ve talked about this for EIGHT F****** YEARS, does now. F*** ALL of you.”

4. Horner, Who Used to Drive for Uber, Is Being Held on $1.5 Million Bond

tanner Horner

FacebookTanner Horner.

Horner is from Lake Worth, Texas. Online records show he has also lived in Fort Worth and Benbrook, Texas.

Horner is being held in the Wise County Jail, the sheriff said.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tanner Horner (@cnc_twitch)

He is being held on $1.5 million bond, according to the sheriff. On Instagram, Horner revealed that he used to drive for Uber. “Ubering out in denton. Gettin that $$$$$,” he wrote in 2018.

He shared the lyrics to a song, writing, “Sometimes I hear her cries. Silence is the dirtiest trick in life. If im so empty then why do I feel alive. Lets go back for the last time. When you breathe you lie. Pretty thing keep your mouth closed and those legs tangled close.”

5. Horner, Who Wrote ‘F*** Everyone Else’ on His Instagram Page, Will Be Charged With Capital Murder

Athena Strand

FacebookAthena Strand.

The sheriff said Athena’s body was found along a county road. Authorities initially believed it was possible that Athena ran away, CBS News reported.

Akin said Horner will be charged with capital murder. Horner did not know Athena’s family or the child, the sheriff said. According to CBS News, Athena’s stepmother reported her missing after the stepmother and child argued. She looked for Athena for “about an hour” and then called authorities; the father was not home, CBS reported.

“I don’t understand how ppl are ok with themselves knowing they emotionally destroyed someone,” Horner wrote on Instagram in 2018. In another post he wrote, “F*** love. Love gets you hurt. Guard yourself and f*** everyone else. Who even gives a f*** anymore.”

He shared a drawing of handcuffs and wrote, “Because its more fun that way \m/ #kinky #bdsm #spank.”

READ NEXT: The University of Idaho Students Who Were Murdered in Moscow, Idaho