Tanner Horner: Woman says she was raped by murder suspect in 2014 when she was a teen

‘I was blackout drunk when he raped me:’ Woman claims she was sexually abused by FedEx driver, 31, when she was just 16 – years before the aspiring musician ‘abducted Texas girl, 7, from her home then murdered her’

  • For years, a Texas woman has publicly accused Taylor Lynn Horner of raping her when she was just 16 years old
  • The woman, now 23, says that Horner was 23 when he got her drunk and took acid with her before taking advantage of her 
  • The victim posted on Facebook about Horner’s actions as recently as September 2022
  • On December 2, authorities in Wise County said that Horner ‘confessed’ heinous abduction and murder of 7-year-old Athena Strand 

A Texas woman says that she was raped in 2014 by Tanner Lynn Horner when she was 16 years old and ‘blackout drunk,’ now Horner is the man who abducted and murdered 7-year-old Athena Strand on Wednesday. 

Strand was found dead on Friday night, police in Wise County, northwest of Dallas, confirmed.

Investigators revealed she likely died ‘within an hour’ of being kidnapped from where she lived in Paradise, Texas.

The suspect, 31-year-old aspiring musician Tanner Horner, of Lake Worth, confessed to Athena’s kidnap and killing. According to jail records, Horner stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 220 pounds. 

DailyMail.com has found that Shay Marie, a 23-year-old Texas woman, has said publicly and repeatedly on social media that Horner raped her in 2014. It is not clear if the woman ever went to the authorities with her allegations. 

Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, confessed to police to abducting and killing Athena on Wednesday afternoon

Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, confessed to police to abducting and killing Athena on Wednesday afternoon

23-year-old Shay Marie, shown here, says that when she was 16 years old, Tanner Horner got her drunk and took advantage of her

23-year-old Shay Marie, shown here, says that when she was 16 years old, Tanner Horner got her drunk and took advantage of her 

This text message that Marie shared on Facebook shows her account of what happened to her at the hands of Horner

This text message that Marie shared on Facebook shows her account of what happened to her at the hands of Horner

Athena Strand was found dead on Friday night, police in Wise County, northwest of Dallas confirmed but police revealed that she likely died 'within an hour' of her being kidnapped

Athena Strand was found dead on Friday night, police in Wise County, northwest of Dallas confirmed but police revealed that she likely died ‘within an hour’ of her being kidnapped

In 2018, the woman posted a series of screenshots showing text conversations that she had a with friends and with Horner’s then-girlfriend.  

Marie writes: ‘On a Friday night, [Horner] got me drunk with the intention of having sex with me. I was nearly blackout drunk when he decided to rape me. I couldn’t physically fight him. My body wouldn’t move.’ 

‘The next day, I was still out of it… It was just Tanner and I. I had almost no recollection of the night before at this point. We did acid. We were fine until the come down. I was laying down and had my back to him,’ she wrote.

The victim continued: ‘He kept touching me. I pushed his hand off multiple times. Started having bad anxiety. I was frozen. I cried. He was stroking my legs and side, talking about my most recent ex at the time. He wouldn’t stop.’

Marie went on: ‘He wouldn’t give me his address so I could leave. He wouldn’t leave the room so I could change. He kept demanding I talked to him, asking what he did wrong. He acted innocent. He began cutting himself behind me. I got a hold of my friend. I had to run and hide in the bathroom. Her and and her mom came and got me. By the time it was at this point, it was about 8 am on Sunday morning. I haven’t spoken to him since.’

In a subsequent post, the woman wrote about the circumstances of the attack saying that at the time she ‘had just gotten my heart broken by my first love. I was reckless and would hang out with anyone and everyone, and being the girl that hung out at band practice was legit so cool to 16-year-old me.’ 

The victim wrote in a November 2019 Facebook post: ‘Friendly reminder that Tanner Horner is a rapist.’ 

In another post from just last September, the woman said: ‘I am 23. The man who assaulted when I was 16 was 23. We were “friends,” he tried convincing me to date him and I declined. We stayed “friends” until he could get me inebriated enough to take advantage of me – a 16-year-old child.’

She also said: ‘I could never in a million years imagine being friends with a 16-year-old now, let alone trying to date/sleep with a 16-year-old. I will never understand it.’

Posts on the suspect’s Instagram page show that he was an aspiring musician and was in a band named Commit and Conquer. 

In another series of messages, Marie talks with  

Athena Strand was said to have been outside of her home following an argument with her step-mom. When she could not be found shortly afterwards, the alarm was raised

Athena Strand was said to have been outside of her home following an argument with her step-mom. When she could not be found shortly afterwards, the alarm was raised

Horner was working as a contract FedEx truck driver and had been delivering a package to Athena's family home at the time the abduction occurred

Horner was working as a contract FedEx truck driver and had been delivering a package to Athena’s family home at the time the abduction occurred

Horner was charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping and is being held on $1.5million bond.

‘We’re just sad it didn’t end the way that we hoped that it would end,’ Sheriff Lane Akin said during a Friday night press conference.

Horner is the only suspect authorities believe is responsible in the case, Akin said. He did not have any relation or connection to the family.

According to the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, the child was dropped off at home from school at her home in Paradise at 4.30pm on Wednesday.

At some point afterwards, the youngster was outside her home after an argument with her step-mother. At the same time, Horner was delivering a FedEx package to her house.

When Athena didn’t come back inside and could not be found in her bedroom, her step-mom reported her missing to police around 6.40pm.

Police believe the girl was likely abducted from her driveway, just 200 yards away from the safety of her home.

The FedEx van Homer was said to have been driving was found several 10 miles away from where Athena was abducted

The FedEx van Homer was said to have been driving was found several 10 miles away from where Athena was abducted

Authorities were only able to connect the dots between Athena's disappearance and Horner's delivery route following a tip off

Authorities were only able to connect the dots between Athena’s disappearance and Horner’s delivery route following a tip off 

Authorities were only able to connect the dots between Athena’s disappearance and Horner’s delivery route following a tip off, with the FBI, Texas Rangers and Wise County Sheriff’s Offices working in tandem to bring the case to a speedy yet tragic end, although two false leads sent police looking in the wrong places for the girl.

The youngster’s body was eventually found 10 miles away from her home.

The County Sheriff paid tribute to locals that had assisted with the investigation which saw hundreds of volunteers coming out to help with a massive search.

‘This community does not like losing our children and we could see it because of all the people who came out and helped us throughout this ordeal,’ Akin said.

‘It’s one of the toughest investigations that I’ve been involved in because it’s a child, and anytime there’s a child dies, it hits you in your heart. You compare that child to your own children when they were at that age’, he added.

Asked about the family’s reaction to the girl’s death: ‘They’re devastated,’ Akin said.

‘They’re angry because of what happened — a precious child taken from their lives.’

FedEx released a statement on Friday night expressing their condolences to the family: ‘Words cannot describe our shock at the reports surrounding this tragic event. First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family during this most difficult time.’

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