Texas Lawmakers Pass Bill Inspired By Murdered Athena Strand

Both the Texas Senate and House have handed the “Athena Alert” invoice, impressed via 7-year-old Athena Strand. She was once allegedly kidnapped and murdered via a shrunk FedEx driving force in 2020. The invoice would permit government to factor an alert extra abruptly than a statewide AMBER alert when a kid is going lacking. The alert will notify the general public inside of a 100-mile radius of the kid’s disappearance and different neighboring counties. The statewide AMBER Alert calls for a case to be showed as an abduction ahead of issuing an alert.

Athena’s mom, Maitlyn Gandy, testified in entrance of lawmakers in Austin final month. She shared her anguish and the way the alert would have helped if it were in position when her daughter disappeared. The invoice was once handed via the Texas Senate on Wednesday, and it’ll now be despatched to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who will come to a decision whether or not to signal it into legislation.

Athena was once enjoying in her dad’s entrance backyard in Paradise, Texas, when she disappeared on November 30, 2020. An AMBER Alert was once now not despatched out till about 24 hours later, and her frame was once discovered on December 2, an afternoon after the alert was once issued. Tanner Horner, the FedEx driving force, was once charged with capital homicide and kidnapping in reference to Athena’s loss of life and is going through the loss of life penalty.

Gandy joined a civil lawsuit to start with introduced via Athena’s father, Jacob Strand, towards FedEx and contracting corporate Big Topspin. They accused the companies of negligence of their hiring of Horner. The supply driving force has been charged one by one with 3 counts of kid sexual abuse associated with incidents that return to 2013. Horner allegedly confessed to Athena’s killing, however he later pleaded now not accountable when he was once arraigned on capital homicide and kidnapping fees in March.

Gandy expressed her gratitude to Texas lawmakers and everybody who supported the Athena Alert invoice. She mentioned, “It means so much to know that my daughter’s life will have a lasting impact.” Benson Varghese, Gandy’s attorney, additionally praised the invoice’s passing, declaring that “The quicker we will get the phrase out in the neighborhood, the extra probabilities we need to save a kid’s existence.”

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