The presumed remains of Gannon Stauch were found in Pace, a city in Florida’s panhandle, the El County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado said Friday. The boy’s stepmother, Letecia Stauch, is charged in his death. The sheriff’s office is asking for information from anyone who may have seen Stauch in Pace or Pensacola sometime between Feb. 3 and Feb. 5.
Stauch reported Gannon missing on Jan. 27, telling authorities he failed to return to their Colorado Springs home after visiting a friend. After weeks of searching, investigators presumed Gannon dead and arrested Stauch in Myrtle Beach, S.C., earlier this month.
Letecia Stauch makes her first appearance in El Paso County District Court in Colorado Springs, Colo. Stauch faces several charges, including first-degree murder of a child, in the presumed death of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch. (KRDO-TV/The Gazette via AP, Pool)
“We met with the family earlier today, and obviously they’re distraught with this information,” said Michael Allen, a deputy district attorney in El Paso County, about the discovery of the remains. “They were still holding out hope that Gannon would come home alive. … It’s tragic.”
The presumption of Gannon’s death was based on his age, the time he had been gone and his dependence on medication.
Shortly after he disappeared, Colorado Springs station KKTV aired an interview with Stauch in which she accused detectives who questioned her about Gannon’s disappearance of violating her constitutional rights.
“During the interview, I asked several times, ‘Can I stop the interview, can I get an attorney, can I stop the interview, can I get an attorney,’” Stauch said with her back facing the camera. “I was denied. I was told I couldn’t get nothing to drink, I couldn’t go to the bathroom.”
She is charged with murder, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a body and tampering with physical evidence, among other criminal charges. She was extradited to Colorado and is being represented by a public defender.
A sworn statement explaining the reason for her arrest has been sealed by a judge.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.