Discovery of Gannon Stauch's Body in Florida Shatters Family's Hope Missing Boy 'Would Come Home Alive'

Gannon Stauch was reported missing in January.
Gannon Stauch was reported missing by his stepmother. El Paso County Sheriff's Office

The remains of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch, who was reported missing in January, have been found in Florida, more than 1,000 miles from his Colorado home, authorities said.

Prosecutors have filed nine additional charges against the child's stepmother, Letecia Stauch, who is already charged with killing him.

A road construction crew discovered the body early last week along U.S. Route 90 in Pace, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. Local authorities are trying to determine how long the remains had been there.

An autopsy identified the body as belonging to Gannon, officials said Friday at a news conference in Colorado.

The new charges against Letecia Stauch include first degree murder and eight counts of committing a violent crime, authorities said. She was arrested in March in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, about 700 miles from where her stepson's remains were found in the Florida panhandle.

Authorities asked for the public's help in reporting any sightings of the woman in northern Florida around Feb. 2.

In early February, the stepmother old a local station she had nothing to do with Gannon's disappearance. She has not commented publicly since then.

Because a gag order has been issued for investigators and attorneys in the case, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby in Colorado said she was unable to answer additional questions from reporters about Gannon's body being found.

The news was devastating to Gannon's family.

"They're distraught with this information," said El Paso County Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael Allen. "They were still holding out hope that Gannon would come home alive."

Letecia Stauch reported Gannon missing on Jan. 27. She said he had stayed home from school that day, and she last saw him in the afternoon when he left for a friend's house, authorities said. 

But a neighbor, after combing through hours upon hours of home surveillance videos, reported to investigators that his footage appeared to show the boy and his stepmother driving away from their house, and that she returned alone about four hours later, authorities said.

Letecia Stauch could face life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.

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