COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The stepmother of a Colorado boy missing for over a month was arrested Monday in connection with his disappearance and presumed death, authorities said.
Letecia Stauch was arrested in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and is expected to be extradited to Colorado on charges including first-degree murder of a child in the death of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch, El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said. The boy remains missing.
“All evidence points to the disappearance of Gannon being foul play,” FBI Denver special agent Dean Phillips said.
The document laying out the reasons for Letecia Stauch’s arrest was sealed and investigators and prosecutors declined to discuss details.
It was not known if Stauch 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, Elder said.
The sheriff’s office previously said that Stauch reported Gannon missing on Jan. 27, saying he left to go to a friend’s house in the afternoon. Authorities called him a runaway when it first asked the public for help finding him. Three days later authorities said he was considered a missing and endangered child because of the length of time he had been gone, his age and his reliance on medication. Authorities did not describe the medication.
Gannon’s mother, Landen Hiott, sobbed during the press conference announcing the arrest, at times leaning on Gannon’s father, Al Stauch.
“I never thought I would be standing here. It’s a nightmare,” Hiott said.
Al Stauch, who is married to Letecia Stauch, said in a statement read by a sheriff’s department spokeswoman that the person responsible for his son’s death is someone that he gave more to than anyone else in the world.
“And that is a burden I that I will carry with me for a very long time,” Al Stauch’s statement said.