The search for missing Colorado boy Gannon Stauch has now expanded to Douglas County as investigators comb through a vast and rough stretch of land.
"The area is approximately 35 acres," El Paso County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Jacqueline Kirby told Oxygen.com. "Information obtained though the investigation led us to this area."
The area –– located about an hour north of Stauch’s home –– was searched by investigators Wednesday and Thursday in an attempt to locate the missing 11-year-old. The search is expected to continue into the weekend.
Kirby told KDVR that the area contains rough terrain including contours that go into deep ravines. Some of those areas require ropes so that investigators can safely enter them to search. Long poles are being used to prod through snowy areas, the Denver Channel reports.
The sheriff’s office posted short clips of the search area to their Facebook on Thursday.
A crew of over 80 volunteers are assisting investigators in the massive search, according to authorities. Both private and public properties are being searched.
“The Sheriff's Office has received 465 tips to date,” the sheriff’s office stated. “These tips include possible sightings, search suggestions, social media related information, suspicious activity, found property/possible evidence and video/photo/drone evidence.”
The search will continue on for as long as it needs to, Kirby told KDVR.
"It is our hope to find Gannon still alive to bring him home safe to his family,” Kirby said. “That is what we work for every day."
Stauch vanished on Jan. 27 after he left his Colorado Springs area home that afternoon to walk to a friend’s house, according to his stepmom Letecia Stauch.
But footage from his home surveillance system possibly contradicts Letecia’s account –– as it appears to show the boy and a female relative getting into a truck the morning of his disappearance, neighbor Roderrick Drayton told the Denver Post.
The truck returned about four hours later but only the woman got out, according to Drayton. In a statement provided to KDVR, Letecia maintained that she and Gannon returned home together that day from a shopping trip, even if the video doesn’t appear to show it.
The El Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has told Oxygen.com that the footage is part of the investigation but they would not comment on its contents.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office's Investigations Tip Line at 719-520-6666. Sending tips over social media is highly discouraged.
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