Colorado boy Gannon Stauch was stabbed, shot and then stuffed in suitcase by stepmother, say police
His stepmother, Letecia Stauch, is facing charges of first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a deceased human body and tampering with evidence
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO: A 11-year-old boy whose remains were found in Florida last week was allegedly stabbed, shot, and stuffed in a suitcase by his stepmother, it has been alleged.
Gannon Stauch disappeared from his Colorado Springs home on January 27 and was missing until remains were discovered 1,400 miles away by construction workers under an overpass in Pace, north of Pensacola.
The workers then called the Florida Department of Transportation, who, in turn, alerted the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office, according to the Sun, and the remains were tentatively identified as Gannon.
"We met with the family earlier today, and obviously they're distraught with this information," shared Deputy District Attorney Michael Allen. "They were still holding out hope that Gannon would come home alive, despite the original charges that we filed in this case, and they're struggling, and they rightfully would be."
The news came after the 11-year-old's stepmother, Letecia Stauch, 36, was booked into the El Paso County jail earlier this month on charges of first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a deceased human body and tampering with evidence.
A preliminary examination performed on Gannon by the District One Medical Examiner has revealed that the young boy was killed after he had been hit by a blunt object, stabbed, and shot by his killer, who police say is Letecia.
Letecia was first arrested on March 2 in South Carolina and was later extradited to Colorado, where she is facing charges of murder of a child under 12 years of age by a person in a position of trust.
After Gannon was first reported missing, the stepmother had claimed to authorities that she had last seen him between 3:15 pm and 4 pm on January 27 and that he had gone to a friend's home.
The 11-year-old was subsequently classified as a "runaway" but new evidence in the form of surveillance video taken from a neighbor's home saw the authorities upgrade the case to that of a missing or endangered person and identify Letecia as a suspect.
She was arrested in South Carolina soon after and police announced they no longer thought the boy was alive and well.
The footage had captured Letecia leaving their home with Gannon in her pickup truck at 10:13 am on January 27, but returning alone a few hours later. Officials said there was no footage available which showed Gannon coming in or leaving the house after 2.19 pm.
A friend of Gannon's father, Albert, said he "just broke down and started saying 'she lied, she lied about the time'" after watching the video.
In an interview before her arrest with a TV channel, Letecia denied any involvement in her stepson's death and insisted that she would never hurt the boy.
"I took care of Gannon for the last two years in our home because his mother didn't want to do it," she said. "I would never ever, ever hurt this child... these people have these conspiracy theories... I'm like: 'Why are you saying Gannon is dead?' He is not dead. We are going to find Gannon."
A full autopsy of Gannon is now underway and Letecia is due back in court for a status conference on April 14.