WISE COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) – The sheriff of Wise County, Texas, held a press conference Friday night to give an update on the disappearance of 7-year-old Athena Strand, who went missing in late November.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin confirmed Strand’s body was recovered sometime in the evening on December 2, 2022, near the city of Boyd.

Strand was abducted near her home by Tanner Lynn Horner, a 31-year-old contract driver for FedEx who was in the area delivering packages, Sheriff Akin said.

Horner, from Lake Worth, has been charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping. He is currently in Wise County Jail on a $1.5 million bond, Akin said.

Athena Strand was last seen at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30, in the city of Paradise, according to officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety. On Thursday, December 1, 2022, authorities issued an Amber Alert for Strand.

The Texas Department of Public Safety issued an Amber Alert for Athena Strand, 7, one day before her body was found. (Texas Department of Public Safety/Wise County Emergency Management)

Investigators discovered her body the following day. Strand likely died with an hour of her abduction, Sheriff Akin said, but he did not disclose if a cause of death had been determined.

At the time of the press conference, Sheriff Akin said Strand’s body was being transported to a medical examiner.

He also called this “one of the toughest” cases he’s been involved in.

“Anytime there’s a child that dies, it just hits you in your heart,” he said.