Police Responds to Claims of Missing Colo. Boy's Stepmother: 'There Is No Threat to the Community'
Sixteen days after 11-year-old Gannon Stauch went missing from his home in Colorado Springs, his stepmother — who first reported him missing as a runaway — offered an explanation of Gannon’s whereabouts prior to his disappearance.
In a new statement released Tuesday to Fox31, Gannon’s stepmother, Letecia “Tecia” Stauch, 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.
However, in response to Stauch’s statement, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office says authorities currently have no reason to believe the boy was kidnapped.
“Right now there is no threat to the community as far as this case goes,” El Paso County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Deborah Mynatt tells PEOPLE. “We don’t have those specifics to put out there [yet], and we haven’t done so. There’s reasons for that and we just can’t go into those details.”
She adds, “We are really trying to also ensure that the community knows if there was a threat of some sort of public safety statement, if there was an abduction of some sort, if that information was revealed to us … we would absolutely put that out.”
Mynatt says the sheriff wants to keep the focus on the investigation — and trying to find Gannon.
“We really want to stay on track and stay focused,” she says. “And I can understand the community’s concern with the lack of information being provided, but we hope that the community can trust that we’re doing that because we’re trying to ensure there’s no … potential of it being jeopardized.”
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crimenews, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
On Monday, Jan. 27, Gannon stayed home from Grand Mountain School. Stauch told police he left the family’s home between 3 and 4 p.m. to walk to a friend’s house. When he didn’t come home, Tecia said she called the sheriff and reported him as a runaway.
Gannon’s father Albert, an active-duty Army National Guardsman, flew home the following day from Oklahoma, where he had been training. Gannon’s biological mother, Landen Hiott, who lives in South Carolina, arrived soon afterward.
Three days later, the El Paso County Sherriff’s Office upgraded the search status from runaway to an endangered missing child.
Stauch also offered a timeline of Gannon’s activities prior to his disappearance.
In her statement to Fox31, she claimed Gannon had cut his foot on Saturday (two days before his disappearance) and she had noticed him going to the side of the house.
“He told me he was checking to see if the gate was locked, because he was the only one with a gate key,” she said. “It made him proud to be the man of the house while Albert was away.”
On Monday, the day of Gannon’s disappearance, Stauch said she and Gannon had gone shopping.
Read more about the ongoing search for Gannon Stauch in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
A neighbor said he gave police video of Gannon leaving with Stauch that morning and Stauch returning at 2:19 p.m. without the boy.
In her statement, Stauch alleged that Gannon had, in fact, returned home with her.
“Please don’t think for a second that there isn’t enough of technology to determine shadows and movement around the truck,” she said.
Stauch also claimed to be a victim of cyberbullying and threats, saying someone had tried to run her off the road in the days since Gannon’s disappearance.
“It has been a challenge when people are trying to run you off the road, waiting outside your hotel, threatening to kill you, etc.” she said.
Mynatt says anyone who has been threatened should report the incident to the police.
“In any case … if there’s anybody that’s threatening any person, they need to contact law enforcement wherever they’re at,” Mynatt tells PEOPLE. “They need to contact that agency and report those threats and harassment or whatever else they might be exposed to, because it is a crime.”
In her statement, Stauch also thanked the many individuals helping to look for her stepson, as she begged him to come home.
“To Gannon, please come home soon because your daddy is waiting to watch the new Sonic movie that comes out this week and the cool shirt I got you to wear to the theatre is in your closet,” she said.