COLORADO SPRINGS — Five weeks, to the day, 11-year-old Gannon Stauch was reported as a runaway to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office by his stepmother, Letecia Stauch, a major announcement was made.
Letecia Stauch had been arrested in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, more than 1,700 miles away, without incident. She has lived in South Carolina in the past.
Stauch was charged with:
– Murder in the First-Degree
– Child Abuse Resulting in Death
– Tampering with a Deceased Human Body
– Tampering with Physical Evidence
“We do not believe Gannon is still alive,” said Lieutenant Mitch Mihalko on Monday. But he also said the department’s work in this case is just beginning. Gannon’s body, he noted, has not yet been found.
Court records show a warrant for Stauch’s arrest was issued in El Paso County on February 28.
In a press conference, held by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office on Monday afternoon, Sheriff Bill Elder referred to the investigation into Gannon’s disappearance as “rapidly developing” and “complex”.
FOX21 News has followed the search for the boy as well as the parallel-running investigation since they began more than a month ago.
Below, you’ll find a timeline of events, based on information our crews collected in the field, as well as information given to us directly by law enforcement.
An intense search for the 11-year-old began quickly after his disappearance, focusing first on areas surrounding the Stauch family home on Mandan Drive in Security.
Just days after the search for Gannon began, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office determined the boy was not just “missing”, but “endangered”, though they stopped short of calling the investigation “criminal”.
The sheriff’s office updated the community in a press conference, along with Gannon’s biological parents, Al Stauch and Landen Hiott.
The search for the boy expanded quickly after that in areas across southern Colorado.
Gannon’s mother agree to an interview with KDVR, our news partner in Denver, appealing again to the public to contact the sheriff’s office with information. She held onto a plush Sonic the Hedgehog, a character from Gannon’s favorite video game.
The community quickly rallied around the Stauch family, organizing vigils and bake sales, hanging posters and blue ribbons – Gannon’s favorite color. Something the sheriff’s office spokesperson thanked them for on Monday.
Letecia Stauch is being held, without bond, at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in South Carolina, awaiting extradition back to Colorado Springs.
The sheriff’s office said it will continue to accept credible tips in this case. Those can be made by calling 719-520-6666 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.