The stepmother of a boy missing from Colorado Springs for more than a month has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder. 11-year-old Gannon Stauch remains missing.
Other charges include child abuse resulting in death; tampering with a deceased human body; and tampering with physical evidence.
Gannon Stauch was originally reported as a runaway by his stepmother Leticia Stauch on Jan. 27. The following day, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office upgraded Gannon's case to missing and endangered citing his age, the medication he needed and the length of time he had been gone.
In a press conference Monday, authorities said while Gannon has not been found, the investigation thus far has led them to believe that he is no longer alive.
Lt. Mitch Mihalko did not go into detail, but said the search for Gannon has been a "methodical, time-consuming multi-state operation with investigators working nearly around the clock."
"While we have not yet found Gannon, information has been developed that is helping us narrow our search," he said.
Landen Hiott, Gannon’s biological mother, thanked the communtity, asked for privacy from the press, and said that Monday she received the best news and the worst news.
“Obviously we know what the worst news is. The best is that justice will be served. And I’ll make sure justice will be served because my boy did not deserve any of this that happened to him," she said.
Leticia Stauch was taken into custody in South Carolina. She will be held there without bond until being extradited to Colorado Springs. El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said the investigation is still in the beginning stages.
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