Gannon Stauch missing: Letecia Stauch Colorado Springs stepmother arrested on suspicion of murder of 11 boy as investigators indicate new developments.
The stepmom of a missing Colorado boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the 11-year-old’s disappearance.
The boy was originally categorized as a runaway, with investigators upgraded the vanished boy’s case as that of a missing/endangered person.
On Monday, deputies from the El Paso Sheriff’s Office arrested Gannon’s stepmother, Letecia ’Tecia’ Stauch.
According to 9News, Stauch was arrested in South Carolina on suspicion of first-degree murder.
She will have to be extradited to Colorado where she will face the charges against her.
During a midday press conference, El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder told reporters that in addition to first-degree murder, Stauch, who remains held in South Carolina without bond, will face charges of child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a deceased body and tampering with evidence.
Elder said the boy’s body has not yet been found, but a sheriff’s lieutenant said information has been obtained that should narrow the ongoing search.
‘We will not stop and this investigation has just begun,’ Elder told reporters.
Neighbor surveillance video contradicted stepmother’s accounts:
Gannon was reported missing two months ago by his stepmother, who is married to his father, Albert.
Surveillance video from a neighbor’s home captured Letecia leaving the home with Gannon in her pickup truck at around 10.13am on January 27.
However, when she returned at 2.19pm, Gannon is nowhere to be seen.
Footage from 2.19pm to the time Gannon was reportedly last seen is not available, but the sheriff’s office said earlier that officers had no surveillance video showing the boy leaving the property.
Roderrick Drayton, the neighbor whose camera picked up the footage, told ABC News that Gannon’s father broke down in tears after he saw the video.
Drayton said when he showed the clip to Albert, he burst into tears and accused his wife of ‘lying’ about Gannon walking to a friend’s house.
‘[Albert Stauch] just broke down crying and said: ”She lied, she lied about the time. He didn’t go to a friend’s house.”
‘SHE WILL PAY’: Landen Hiott, mom of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch, made a tearful plea after authorities announced the missing child’s stepmother, Leticia Stauch, was arrested for his murder; no body has been recovered in the case. More tonight. https://t.co/IgZ0Zz0G54 pic.twitter.com/bmk1UVvfOr
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) March 2, 2020
‘I would never ever, ever hurt this child…these people have these conspiracy theories…’
After news of the video broke, Letecia gave an interview to KKTV, insisting that she played no part in her stepson’s disappearance.
‘I took care of Gannon for the last two years in our home because his mother didn’t want to do it,’ she said.
‘I would never ever, ever hurt this child…these people have these conspiracy theories…I’m like: “Why are you saying Gannon is dead?” He is not dead. We are going to find Gannon’.
In a statement to KDVR, Letecia insisted that her stepson was, in fact, in her vehicle when they returned home from a shopping trip that afternoon, but he got out from the side of the truck that was not facing their neighbor’s camera.
On Friday, the El Paso Sheriff’s Office called off a planned search for the 11-year-old.
No explanation was given for the cancellation of Friday’s search and a spokesperson from the sheriff’s office did not immediately return a request for media comment.
But on Saturday Colorado authorities continued their search along a stretch of highway.
Footage shows volunteers poking at the snow and ice with shovels near Highway 105 and Highway 83.
No information was given on what the search was looking for.
‘As we have explained throughout this investigation, this is a very fluid investigation & it can change at any minute of the day,’ the sheriff’s office tweeted on Thursday.
‘The scheduled search has been postponed. We will keep you in the loop as it happens & as we can release it. Our Tips to date are 801.’
How much is too much medication?
Volunteers searching for Gannon since January used a slogan on many of the posters for the missing boy that reads: ‘Leave no stone unturned.’
‘I don’t want to wait another day,’ she said. ‘He is mommy’s little man. If he is not with me, he is hurting’.
Hiott added she is certain that her son would not run away.
‘When I heard that he ran away, I knew that was the first sign,’ she said.
‘Like, that is not my boy…100 per cent without a shadow of a doubt, my boy would not run away.’
‘He’s my hero. He gives me life, he gives me energy. If a bad day is going bad, I just hear his voice and it makes it better.’
Gannon was last seen wearing a blue jacket, black jeans and sneakers.
He has brown eyes, brown hair, weight 90 pounds and stands around four-foot-nine.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office also said the boy needs medication but did not specify what the medication is for. A point of reference which Letecia Stauch in previous interviews referenced in which Stauch described calling a nurse and asking how much was ‘too much’ medication to give Gannon.