LARKSPUR, Colo. — Teams of people from several different agencies, led by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, sifted through mounds of snow and piles of frozen dirt in a southern area of Douglas County on Monday, searching for some sign of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch.
A road block was put into place on CR 105, north of Palmer Lake, to keep cars from getting too close to a specific search area.
Media was being kept at a distance on Monday afternoon, but FOX21 News Crews were able to capture some video by driving by, using the one open lane.
Wildland Fire crews were also on scene Monday. In response to FOX21’s question as to why, Deborah Mynatt, a spokesperson with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, wrote:
“The Wildland Fire Team is a component of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Division which also has Search and Rescue in as a component. They assist with logistics and planning. They help with search efforts. We had personnel from many different assignments and specialities but they all were there searching assisting in these search efforts.”
Investigators have been in this spot in Larkspur for several days, some 40 miles north of where the boy was last seen, three weeks ago, at his home on Mandan Drive in Security.
Former Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has become close with Gannon’s biological parents over the past three weeks. She said she’s seen their pain, and is serving as their spokesperson, in an interview with FOX31, our news partner in Denver.
“This is personal anguish at a level I’ve never seen,” Coffman said. “They are strong people. Al and Landen are sticking together.”
Coffman told FOX31, as the days go on, updates on the search have become less frequent for the family.
“The family sees what you see and what you are reporting, and law enforcement is only able to give them the barest details of what is happening,” Coffman said.
Gannon’s stepmother, Letecia Stauch, reported him missing when, she said, he didn’t return home after leaving to visit a friend. After facing waves of backlash on quickly-growing social media pages, Stauch released a statement providing more details, she said, of what happened on January 27, the day her stepson disappeared.
Over the past three weeks, the Lorson Ranch Neighborhood has rallied around the Stauch family, coordinating vigils, putting up blue lights and ribbons in honor of Gannon’s favorite color, hanging posters, and hosting fundraisers.
“If anyone wants to donate to search efforts, they can donate directly to El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, through our website, [or] by emailing us,” Mynatt said Monday.
“We, as an office, cannot confirm the legitimacy [of] any of the fundraisers that have been established for the [Stauch] family,” she clarified.
Mynatt noted people can contact Douglas and Arapahoe Counties directly to help with those search efforts as well.
The last time the public heard from Gannon’s biological parents, Landen Hiott and Al Stauch, was February 5, via a video statement released on Youtube.
In the video, Hiott made an emotional plea for community members to continue calling in tips, even if they were afraid.
“If you have anything that’s credible if you’re afraid… imagine my son,” she said as her voice broke. “Imagine how afraid Gannon is,” she said.
At last check, the sheriff’s office had taken in well over 500 tips, including, they wrote on their website, “possible sightings, search suggestions, social media related information, suspicious activity, found property/possible evidence and video/photo/drone evidence.”
The mobile crime lab has been seen, at various times, visiting the Stauch family home on Mandan drive, as well as the search area in Larkspur. However, the sheriff’s office is not calling its investigation into Gannon’s disappearance a criminal one, nor has it named any suspects.
Information can be submitted through the sheriff office’s tip line: 719-520-6666 or by email: Tips@elpasoco.com.