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Search for missing 7-year-old Texas girl who vanished from her home – updates


AMBER Alert issued for 7-year-old Wise County girl

A desperate search is underway in Texas for a seven-year-old girl who vanished two days ago.

An Amber Alert was issued on Thursday for Athena Strand, who vanished the night before in Paradise.

According to the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, the child was dropped off from school at her home in Paradise at 4.30pm on Wednesday. Her stepmother reportedly called police to report her missing around 6.40pm that day when she didn’t find Athena in her room after an argument.

Officials said during a press conference on Friday that the argument was not “unusual” and that the child “walked away” but didn’t come back.

It is believed her health and safety may be in danger and although foul play is not suspected at this time, an abduction has not been ruled out, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said.

Meanwhile, Athena’s mother, Maitlyn Presley Gandy, pleaded on social media for the public’s help.

“Athena didn’t walk away or disappear on her own. I will not give up or stop until I have Athena back,” Ms Presley wrote.

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Who to contact with any information on Athena Strand

Anyone with information on Strand’s whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 940-627-5971 or report it to the FBI.

Graeme Massie2 December 2022 22:28

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What we know about disappearance

Seven-year-old Athena Strand has been missing since around 6 pm on Wednesday evening.

She was last seen at her father’s home on County Road 3573 in Paradise, Texas, dressed in a grey long-sleeve shirt with white flowers, blue jeans with white flowers on the pockets, and brown boots.

Athena reportedly left the home after an argument with her stepmother. Police said the woman spent “about an hour” searching for the youngster before calling the sheriff’s office.

The child’s father was reportedly on a deer hunting trip in south Texas at the time of the disappearance.

Graeme Massie2 December 2022 22:15

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Search continues for Athena Strand

Search continues in Texas for Athena Strand

(Fox4)

Graeme Massie2 December 2022 21:59

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Amber Alert continues for Athena Strand

Graeme Massie2 December 2022 21:53

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Case transitioned from search to investigation, police say

At a press conference on Friday, authorities in Wise County, Texas, announced that the Athena Strand case was being transitioned from a search to an investigation.

Sheriff Lane Akin cautioned that foul play is not suspected at this time, but it is still in the realm of possibility.

Mr Akin said there is no evidence at this point to suggest that Athena was abducted, but that is also a possibility.

More than 300 volunteers have been assisting a large group of police officers in the search in the 48 hours since Athena vanished.

Dog teams, helicopters and thermal imaging are also being used.

Athena was last seen wearing a shirt, jeans with flowers on the pockets and brown boots.

On the whole, details about her disappearance remain sparse.

Megan Sheets2 December 2022 21:35

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Who is Athena Strand?

Seven-year-old Athena Strand has been missing from her home in Paradise, Texas, since Wednesday (30 November).

An Amber Alert was issued for her the following day after she was reported missing by her stepmother, according to the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

The stepmother made the report around 6.40pm Wednesday when she found Athena was not in her room following an argument.

Officials said during a press conference on Friday that the argument was not “unusual” and that the child “walked away” but didn’t come back.

It is believed her health and safety may be in danger and although foul play is not suspected at this time, an abduction has not been ruled out, Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said.

“Then stepmom went to fix dinner, came back to get Athena, and Athena wasn’t in her room,” Mr Akin said.

The Independent’s Andrea Blanco has more:

Megan Sheets2 December 2022 21:25


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