COLORADO SPRINGS — Investigators believe a woman charged with murdering her 11-year-old stepson killed him in his bedroom just a few hours before reporting him missing in January and allegedly concocted a variety of stories to mislead them, according to a court document.
Authorities say Letecia Stauch reported Gannon Stauch missing on Jan. 27 after she said he failed to return from a friend’s house. But she was not able to provide details about the friends he was with or their parents or her efforts to find him, according to an arrest affidavit laying out evidence justifying her arrest. It had been sealed but it was released by court officials on Friday after it was posted on social media on Thursday.
Two days after she reported him missing, Letecia Stauch allegedly said Gannon had been abducted by a Hispanic man working in their home who raped her, but she refused to undergo a sexual assault exam, the document said. Later, Stauch allegedly also said she was raped by another man who was on the county’s most wanted list and that Gannon bled after burning himself with a candle.
A telephone message left for Stauch’s public defender, Kathryn Strobel, at her office closed because of the coronavirus outbreak and an email seeking comment were not returned Friday.
Based on tracking information from Stauch’s SUV, investigators believed that she disposed of Gannon’s remains in a rural area near Palmer Lake, Colorado, on Jan. 28. A piece of particle board with what turned out to be Gannon’s blood on it was found by searchers there on Feb. 15. But his remains were not found there.
In March, authorities said human remains believed to be Gannon’s were found on the Florida Panhandle. The document, written on Feb. 28, does not address that development.
The document describes evidence of blood found in Gannon’s bedroom and Stauch’s SUV. It doesn’t describe a motive, but investigators said, based on her internet searches, it seems like she was unhappily married and resentful of being treated as a babysitter for her stepchildren.