Eleven-year-old Gannon Stauch, who went missing from his Colorado Springs home back in January has been pronounced dead by authorities, El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder stated at a news conference, Monday.
On January 27, Gannon went missing and the last person who saw him was his step-mother LeticiaStauch who told authorities that he was heading to a friend's house in Colorado Springs.
Initial reports categorized Gannon as a runaway before it was upgraded to a missing or endangered person case.
During the news conference on Monday, Lt. Mitch Mihalko said that they do not have any reason to believe that Gannon is still alive, as family members including Gannon's mother, Landen Hiott stood directly behind him still overcome with grief.
Mihalko also added that their work is only just beginning as they continue the relentless pursuit of justice that Gannon and his family deserve. Until this day, authorities confirm that Gannon's body still has not been found.
In light of this, Gannon's stepmother Leticia was charged with the boy's murder as authorities continue their search operations for the boy's body. She was arrested on Monday with multiple charges including, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a body, tampering with physical evidence and first-degree murder of Gannon Stauch.
It can be recalled that deputies began their search for Gannon five weeks ago when he was reported missing from his home in Colorado Springs and Leticia told the authorities that the boy ran away from home.
According to Agent Dean Phillips of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), all of the evidence point to Gannon's disappearance as a result of foul play. The arrest of Leticia was aired on Fox 21 Colorado Springs but the reporters were left in the dark on what led to her arrest.
Gannon's biological mother Landra Hiott said during the conference that this was the worst yet the best news that they have received. It was the worst because of what Gannon had faced, but it was the best since justice will finally be served for her little boy. She also added that Leticia will pay for all the awful things that she did to her son.
Shortly after Gannon went missing, KKTV a television station in Colorado Springs aired an interview with Leticia wherein she accused the detectives who questioned her about Gannon's case with violation of her human rights. She said that during the interrogation, she asked to not continue with the interview and get a lawyer but she was denied. She said she was also not allowed to get a drink or even go to the bathroom.
She further added that the detectives twisted the things she told them and made her feel uncomfortable. Hence, she asked for an attorney to help her out with understanding their questions. She also claimed that the detectives handcuffed her teenage daughter and held her at gunpoint after a traffic stop.