The body of Gannon Stauch, an 11-year-old Colorado boy who has been missing since January, may have been found in Florida this week if an autopsy is correct.
The remains of a “deceased juvenile male” were discovered on Wednesday in Pace, Florida, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said in a Friday statement.
An autopsy was performed and the remains have been tentatively identified as Stauch, officials said. The sheriff’s department is asking that the public reach out to them if they spotted Stauch’s stepmother Letecia Stauch in Pace or Pensacola between February 3 and February 5. The woman was charged last week with the boy’s murder.
Further details about the remains are not available at this time, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office stated citing a gag order.
“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Gannon,” the sheriff’s department noted in their statement.
Letecia was arrested earlier this month in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina before she was extradited back to El Paso County, Colorado. Gannon had supposedly disappeared near his home in Colorado on Jan. 27.
Letecia had claimed that Gannon vanished after he left his home to walk to a friend’s house. However, a neighbor challenged that claim and argued footage from his home surveillance system contradicted Letecia’s account.
The neighbor told the Denver Post that footage he uncovered showed the boy and a female relative getting into a truck the morning of his disappearance; when the truck returned about four hours later, Gannon was absent. In a previous statement provided to local outlet KDVR, Letecia maintained that she and Gannon had gone shopping that day and returned home together, even if the video did not appear to show it.
Letecia’s public defenders Kathryn Strobel and Kim Chalmers, both of whom work at the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, are not available for comment per office policy.
Letecia previously defended herself in an interview with KKTV, stating, "I would never, never ever hurt this child," adding that she became the victim of internet rumors and death threats as a result of Gannon's disappearance.
In a presser immediately following his disappearance, the boy’s biological mother Landen Hiott explained that Stauch was born prematurely at under two pounds, yet beat the odds and survived and grew into a "talented" young man.
"My son is a very loving kid,” she said. “He wouldn't want harm on anybody at all and it's so hard to think, 'Why is this happening to him?' I have no clue.”
Anyone who may have seen Letecia in either Pace or Pensacola is urged to call the El Paso County Sheriff's Office Tip Line at 719-520-6666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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