• Original Reporting
  • Sources Cited
Original Reporting This article contains new, firsthand information uncovered by its reporter(s). This includes directly interviewing sources and research / analysis of primary source documents.
Sources Cited As a news piece, this article cites verifiable, third-party sources which have all been thoroughly fact-checked and deemed credible by the Newsroom in accordance with the Civil Constitution.
Letecia Gaunch. (Provided by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office)

The El Paso County woman arrested on a murder charge related to the disappearance and presumed death of her 11-year-old stepson was fired from a middle school teaching job just days before the boy went missing.

Letecia Stauch. (Provided by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office)

Letecia Stauch, 36, was going through orientation for a job at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Academy District 20 when her conditional employment offer was rescinded, The Colorado Sun has learned.

“Academy District 20 rescinded her employment offer after finding inconsistencies in her employment application,” district spokeswoman Allison Cortez said.

Cortez did not elaborate on those inconsistencies. She said Stauch had access to children and that the district is in the process of notifying Mountain Ridge Middle School students and families.

Stauch previously worked for Widefield School District in southern El Paso County, district spokeswoman Samantha Briggs said. Stauch, who received her Colorado teaching license in March 2019, was a substitute teacher in the district during the spring semester of 2019. She was then hired at French Elementary, where she taught from August until November, when she resigned.

Briggs said Widefield School District has notified parents of Stauch’s employment with there.

Stauch was participating in three days of orientation at Mountain Ridge Middle School, in the Briargate neighborhood of Colorado Springs, when she was fired on Jan. 24, just three days before Gannon Stauch, 11, went missing.

Stauch worked at the district from just from Jan. 22 to 24.

A spokeswoman for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment. Cortez confirmed that the woman who was going through orientation at Mountain Ridge Middle School is the same person who was arrested in Gannon Stauch’s disappearance.

“The pending charges have no connection to Academy District 20 students or staff members,” said a memo the district sent to parents of Mountain Ridge Middle School students Thursday evening. “When any employee is hired in Academy District 20, we conduct a full background check, including a Colorado Bureau of Investigation review, which revealed Ms. Stauch was eligible for hire. Additional due diligence and reference checks revealed inconsistent information.”

Stauch was arrested Monday in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on a warrant for charges including first-degree murder of a child.

READ: The letter from Academy District 20 to parents of Mountain Ridge Middle School students.

Stauch, who did not fight extradition, arrived at the El Paso County jail in Colorado Springs Thursday morning, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said.

The boy remains missing.

The document laying out the reasons for Letecia Stauch’s arrest was sealed and investigators and prosecutors have declined to discuss details.

It was not known if she has a lawyer representing her yet. She also faces charges including child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a deceased human body and tampering with physical evidence.

The sheriff’s office previously said Letecia Stauch reported Gannon missing on Jan. 27, saying he left to go to a friend’s house in the afternoon. Authorities initially called him a runaway, but three days later said he was considered missing and endangered due to his age, the amount of time he had been gone and his dependence on medication.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Updated March 5, 2020, at 7 p.m.: This story was updated to correct that Letecia Stauch did have access to children during her short time at Mountain Ridge Middle School.

Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage....