The search for the missing Wise County little girl, Athena Strand, came to a tragic end on Friday night. Fox 4 reports that Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin confirmed that the 7-year-old Athena Strand was found dead six miles from her home in Boyd.
Sheriff Akin says they received a tip that led to a FedEx driver, who is alleged to have kidnapped Athena from her home on Wednesday night. The driver eventually confessed to kidnapping her. Akin said she likely died an hour after she went missing. 31-year-old Tanner Horner is currently held at the Wise County Jail and has been charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping. He is now being held on a $1.5 million bond.
Fox 4 reports that Athena's mother was at the news conference but did not speak on camera but told reporters she was just desperate to have her daughter home. Fox 4 says that Athena got off her school bus on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. About two hours later, Athena's mother called 911 to report her missing from her home in Paradise. The mother told police there was an argument and that the girl was not in her room. Akin told the press that the argument was not unusual for a 7-year-old and a mother.
Her disappearance drew a massive group of law enforcement, volunteers, dog teams, helicopters and thermal imaging gear to help in the search. Wise County Chief Deputy Craig Jonhson said that thanks to the massive size of the search group, they covered larger areas and talk to more people quicker than they would without them. The sheriff has said the case has shifted to an investigation, offering his office with more resources. Fox 4 reports that the FBI has been brought in and are helping with digital resources and investigative support. A cause of death has not been determined.