Gannon Stauch's body has not been found but he is presumed dead
The mother of Colorado 11-year-old Gannon Stauch broke down Monday at a press conference after authorities announced murder charges against the boy’s stepmother and that Gannon is presumed dead.
“It is a nightmare,” Landen Hiott said through tears. “I got the worst news and the best news. Obviously, we know what the worst news is. The best news is justice will be served — and I will make sure justice is served because my boy didn’t deserve any of this that happened to him.”
Hiott thanked those who have expressed support for Gannon even though they never met the boy, saying Gannon is “not only my hero, he’s the world’s hero.”
Authorities announced that Gannon’s stepmother, Letecia “Tecia” Stauch, was taken into custody at 8 a.m. Monday in Myrtle Beach, S.C. She will be extradited back to Colorado where she will be charged with murder in the first degree of a child under 12 years of age by a person in a position of trust, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a deceased human body and tampering with physical evidence.
She is being held without bond.
Authorities said they have yet to find the boy but he is presumed dead.
At the press conference, Hiott said, “This stepmom, who I even trusted — she will pay 100 percent for this heinous thing she has done… I want to leave this earth knowing that justice was served for my boy.”
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In a statement read by an El Paso County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Gannon’s father Albert Stauch, who attended the press conference, wrote that he was looking forward to his son’s teenage years and “the fun they would have as he became a young man.”
“My little boy is not coming home,” he wrote. “We will never play Nintendo again. No more taco Tuesdays. No more smooth-looking hair cuts. No more big Bubba for my Laina [Gannon’s younger sister] and no more G-man for the world.”
Stauch also addressed Gannon’s stepmom in the statement.
“The person who committed this heinous horrible crime is one that I gave more to anybody else on this planet, and it is a burden that I will carry with me for a very long time,” he wrote.
From early on, public suspicion swirled around Tecia Stauch after a neighbor’s video surveillance surfaced that seemed to contradict what she told the police.
In an exclusive statement to Fox Denver 31, Stauch thanked those looking for her stepson, and begged him to come home — and also appeared to imply that the boy may have been abducted.
“I encourage you to think of any suspicious cars that may have been in the area watching a few days prior and keep praying for G,” she said in the statement.
Gannon was reported missing Jan. 27 by Tecia Stauch, who allegedly told police the boy left home between 3:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. to walk to a friend’s house, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
Initial reports from the sheriff’s office described Gannon as a “runaway,” but on January 30, the agency’s social media posts shifted to describe him as missing and endangered.
Authorities said they are not revealing details of the presumed killing, or how Tecia Stauch became a suspect, in deference to the ongoing investigation.