January 27th, 2020 should have been like any other typical Monday morning, in Colorado Springs. In the quiet neighborhood of Lorson Ranch, children arose from their peaceful night’s dreams, prepared to begin their school week. School children shuffled their way to their respectful school bus stops with the wintry mountain air, brisk upon their faces; Laina Stauch included. Parents whisked themselves away to go about their day. Whether it was school, work, or play, most everyone was anticipating just another typical start to their week.
Lorson Ranch is a quiet, close knit neighborhood. At the time, the Stauch family, residing at 6627 Mandan Drive, seamlessly fit in amongst their Lorson Ranch neighbors. As the morning light shone through his basement bedroom window, Gannon Stauch, slept quietly as the sun kissed his sweet face. The rest of the household was bustling around; preparing for the day ahead. Letecia Stauch, stepmother to Gannon and Laina, assisted her young stepdaughter get ready for the school day ahead. Gannon would be staying home that day because Letecia said he was sick. Harley Hunt, daughter of Letecia, too got ready for another Monday and made her way to work. The patriarch of the Stauch family, Albert Stauch, was away for military training, fulfilling his duty with the National Guard.
Later that morning, Gannon would be seen on neighbor Roderick Drayton’s security cameras. It seemed Gannon was leaving with his stepmom, later explained by Letecia that she was “taking Gannon to the doctor.” The pair would be gone for hours, with Letecia returning home in time to retrieve young Laina who would soon be departing her school bus for the day. Law enforcement states that the surveillance footage shows Letecia returning home alone.
The afternoon progressed and day turned to dusk. Harley ended her shift at a local massage boutique and set out to head home for the evening. Upon returning home, Harley was instructed by her mother to take Laina to a nearby store to pick up some cleaning supplies. By 6 pm, neighbors began getting texts asking if anyone had seen Gannon. Letecia stated Gannon had left to go play at a neighbor friends house and had yet to return. Much to everyone’s dismay, Gannon was not at any neighbor’s homes and panic set it when he could not be located. Law enforcement was called to the Stauch home for a missing 11 year old Gannon Stauch, who was reported as a runaway.
Days would pass and suspicion grew. Neighbors lit up their quaint subdivision with blue outdoor lights, hopeful to light the way home for Gannon. Blue was Gannon’s favorite color and the bulbs shone so bright, the night skies filled with a blue glow that could be seen from a distance. While Lorson Ranch stood as a pillar of strength illuminated in that soft blue haze, hopes to lead Gannon home remained even stronger. Although; things just didn’t seem to add up. Day after day, night after night, the community strongly stood together and the nation was drawn to the story of missing Gannon Stauch. Everyone wanted to know where Gannon was. Everyone wanted Gannon home, safe and sound.
We know how this story ends. Gannon would not return home, safe and sound. Letecia proceeded to tell story after story, turning her innocent stepson’s ‘disappearance’ into one of blame and false accusations, boldly painting herself as the victim. While Gannon’s parents, Landen Hiott and Al Stauch, pleaded for Gannon’s safe return, Letecia painted wild stories of law enforcement taking her diamonds, gave an interview with her back to the camera, and abruptly rented a u-haul; fleeing Colorado. From her social media posts to her phone calls with strangers, everything Letecia stated never portrayed her as a stepmom desperate to find Gannon.
On March 2, 2020, El Paso County sheriff’s office, held a press conference that investigators believed Gannon had been murdered. The nation watched as all hope was extinguished that Gannon was alive.
Letecia was arrested earlier that same day and charged with First Degree Murder (amongst other charges related to child abuse). Just shy of missing three months, Gannon’s lifeless body was found under the Escambia River Bridge, in Pace, Florida. Stuffed in a suitcase and resting on rocks, Gannon was discarded heinously. While he was found on March 17, 2020, the public would be notified of these grisly, heartbreaking findings on March 19, 2020.
Currently, Letecia is being held in an El Paso County, Colorado jail awaiting trial.
Gannon’s story is NOT over and justice will be served for the innocent little boy, who just loved to play Sonic and make people laugh. Gannon lost his life at the hands of someone who was supposed to protect him.