Athena Strand's mother speaks publicly for the first time since daughter's death

Athena Strand's mother, Maitlyn Gandy spoke publicly for the first time since her 7-year-old daughter was kidnapped and killed at a candlelight vigil for her daughter.

Thousands of people gathered for the event outside of Cottondale Baptist Church on Tuesday night wearing pink, Athena's favorite color.

Gandy held back tears while addressing the crowd.

Read her full comments here:

Athena’s mother came to North Texas from Oklahoma shortly after learning her daughter had disappeared last week. 


31-year-old Tanner Horner is currently in the Wise County Jail charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said Horner, a delivery driver, confessed to the crime.

Investigators have not released any information about a possible motive.