FedEx stock tanks amid recession warning


  • The victim was allegedly murdered within an hour of the kidnapping
  • The suspect was held in Wise County jail on a $1.5 million bond
  • Police did not indicate the possible motive of the crime

The FedEx driver accused of kidnapping and murdering seven-year-old Athena Strand delivered her Christmas present — a set of Barbie dolls, before the child's disappearance, her mother said Thursday.

The suspect, Tanner Lynn Horner, allegedly dropped off the box containing six Barbies, called the "You can be anything" collection, when he abducted Athena from her father's home in Paradise, Texas, on Nov. 30, her mother Maitlyn Gandy said at the news conference.

Gandy also said it was the first time she had seen the gift, referring to an easel beside her where the box of "You can be anything" Barbie dolls was placed. "Athena was robbed of the opportunity to grow up to be anything she wanted to be. And this present ordered out of innocence and love is one she will never receive," Gandy said while calling for stricter screening policies for delivery drivers.

"Athena's favorite holiday was Christmas as it is for many children everywhere. The joy Athena gave her family, and the joy she felt on Christmas is something we will never feel with here again," she added.

Athena was found dead on Dec. 2, two days after she was reported missing. Her body was discovered approximately 40 miles northwest of Fort Worth by her stepmother.

According to Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin, the authorities believe she was murdered within an hour of her alleged kidnapping. However, the cause of her death is still under investigation, CNN reported.

The 31-year-old Horner, identified by authorities as a contract driver for FedEx, confessed to the crime, police said. He allegedly dropped off a package at Athena's father's home when she disappeared.

Horner was held in Wise County jail on a $1.5 million bond, facing capital murder and aggravated kidnapping charges, New York Post reported.

Police did not indicate the possible motive of the crime and according to Akin, Horner did not know the family or the child.

The young girl was staying with her father and stepmother in Paradise for the holiday and was expected to return to her mother's home in Oklahoma after the Christmas break, Gandy said.

"Now, instead, Athena will be cremated, and she will come home in an urn because I'm not even, I'm not anywhere close to being ready to let my baby go," she added.

Gandy dyed her hair hot pink in honor and remembrance of Athena, according to Fox News. Gandy remembered her daughter as a sweet and friendly girl who "loved dancing, singing and all animals: dogs, cats, horses, lizards and chinchillas."

"I will never see her bright blue eyes or her ornery smile again," Gandy said. "I will never be able to hear her say, 'I love you, Mommy.' I will never be able to do her hair again or to hold her while she sleeps."

"I was robbed of watching her grow up by a man everyone was supposed to be able to trust. To do just one simple task: deliver a Christmas present and leave."

Several school districts across Texas wore pink in honor of Athena.

"Words cannot describe our shock and sorrow at the reports surrounding this tragic event. First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family during this most difficult time, and we continue to cooperate fully with the investigating authorities," FedEx said in a statement.

FedEx stock tanks amid recession warning