(NewsReady.com) – Athena Strand went missing from her Wise County, Texas, home on November 30, just before dinnertime. The community came together and searched for the 7-year-old for two days. It ended tragically on the second day, and now her grandfather is speaking out.
BREAKING: ARREST MADE IN MISSING CHILD CASE: A man has been arrested for capital murder and aggravated kidnapping, according to Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin. He also confirmed the body of 7-year-old Athena Strand has been found about 6 miles from Cottondale. pic.twitter.com/E46SM9IX2C
— Wise County Messenger (@WCMessenger) December 3, 2022
On November 2, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin announced officers had found the body of the little girl near the Trinity River. Law enforcement believes suspect Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, kidnapped the child while he was delivering a package to the home. During a press conference, Akin said authorities think she died within the first hour after she was taken.
Strand’s grandfather, Mark Strand, posted a powerful message on social media after his granddaughter’s remains were found. He explained that he wanted the person who murdered the little girl to “burn in hell for all eternity.” He went on to say how he realized hate is “trying to root itself” in his heart, and he knows that God wouldn’t want that. So, he made the decision to “forgive” the alleged killer. The grieving grandfather said that he believes “God’s justice will [be] done,” and he is choosing “Love and hate loses.”
The investigation into the little girl’s death is still ongoing.
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