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Murder charge filed against stepmother in Gannon Stauch's disappearance

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Posted at 4:59 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 18:59:02-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The stepmother of the missing Colorado Springs boy Gannon Stauch was formally charged with murder and three other counts on Wednesday.

Letecia Stauch faces four charges in her stepson's disappearance: Murder involving a victim under the age of 12 by a person in a position of trust, child abuse-knowing/reckless resulting in death, tampering with a deceased human body, and tampering with physical evidence-destroy, according to online court records.

Stauch appeared in court for an advisement hearing Wednesday, wearing a lime-green jail jumpsuit and handcuffs. She remains in custody with no bond.

In the hearing Wednesday, Stauch was advised of the charge and then both sides discussed the release of the arrest warrant affidavit in the case. Prosecutors did not object to the affidavit being unsealed but Stauch's attorneys did object. No decision was made on whether to unseal the affidavit, and a status conference was set for April 14 related to search warrants in the case.

Letecia Stauch was arrested last Monday in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and is accused of killing Gannon, her 11-year-old stepson. She was extradited back to Colorado following her arrest last week.

Letecia Stauch reported her stepson missing from their Colorado Springs home on Jan. 27, telling police that he'd left on foot to play at a friend's house and never returned. According to the El Paso Sheriff's Office, she made the report around 7 p.m. Few details have been released in the case, but crews over the last few weeks have been searching in the same general area of southern Douglas County as well as northern El Paso County.

During the investigation, a neighbor shared a home surveillance video that he said showed the boy and his stepmother leaving their home around 10:13 a.m. on Jan 27. At 2:19 p.m., the stepmother returned home, seemingly alone.

Thirty-five days after he was reported missing, Letecia Stauch was arrested in South Carolina.

At a press conference following her arrest, El Paso Sheriff's Lt. Mitch Mahalko said authorities no longer believed Gannon Stauch was alive. Mahalko said they are not releasing information as to why they believe that, or why they have accused Letecia Stauch of first-degree murder. According to KOAA, the arrest warrant for Letecia Stauch was first sought by El Paso County authorities on Friday, Feb. 28.