Delivery Drivers React to Child's Murder by FedEx Driver: "Your Babies Are Safe on My Route"

A 7-year-old girl named Athena Strand was abducted and murdered by a FedEx driver. Fellow delivery drivers have reacted to the incident on TikTok.

Kelly Corbett - Author

Dec. 12 2022, Published 5:32 p.m. ET

fedex drivers tour babies are safe on my route
Source: tiktok /@knightzkikz; tiktok/ @t_rock04

Sometimes the most dangerous people are the ones you’d never expect. On Nov. 30, a 7-year-old girl named Athena Strand disappeared from her family’s driveway shortly after a FedEx driver delivered a Christmas gift to their home in Wise County, Texas. Her body was found a couple of days later.

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The FedEx driver, Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, is currently being held in Wise County jail on capital murder and aggravated kidnapping charges. CBS reported that he told investigators that he allegedly hit Athena first with his truck as he backed out of the driveway.

fedex truck
Source: Getty Images

Stock photo

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Horner claimed that she was not seriously injured after being hit, but he panicked and took her into his van. Horner said that he was worried she would tell her dad about the incident, so he tried to break her neck to stop her, and when that didn't work, he strangled her to death.

Since Athena’s tragic death, fellow delivery drivers have been sharing videos across TikTok regarding the incident.

“Your babies are safe on my route” on TikTok began to trend, as did the #justiceforathena hashtag.

On TikTok, delivery drivers wanted to spread the message that, unlike Horner, they would never hurt or endanger a child. That said, videos started popping up of FedEx drivers, as well as other delivery drivers, that feature the copy "your babies are safe on my route." In the background, the song "Dancing in the Sky" by Dani and Lizzy played.

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In the comment section, folks acknowledged how cruel and evil Horner's alleged actions were. They also acknowledged that he had painted a vile image of the company. Most users seemed to agree that it's an especially hard time to be a FedEx driver because of the accusations against Horner.

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Source: tiktok
Source: tiktok
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The creators behind these videos also included the hashtag #justiceforathena, which was also featured on Twitter.

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Athena's mom spoke out during a press conference.

Athena's mother, Maitlyn Gandy, spoke at a press conference on Dec. 8 about her daughter's abduction and death. She touched on how horrible this incident was, especially with Christmas right around the corner.

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“I will never see her bright blue eyes or her ornery smile again. 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," Maitlyn said during her heartfelt tribute.

The heartbroken mom also advocated for stricter hiring policies for delivery drivers. “I will spend the rest of my life fighting for her so that no other family will endure such unbearable pain and grief. A monster attempted to take Athena’s voice, but we are her voice.”

In response to this tragedy, FedEx shared a statement on Twitter that noted that it was cooperating with authorities during this time.

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The investigation is still ongoing.

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