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COLORADO SPRINGS — Human remains found in the Florida panhandle earlier this week have been tentatively identified as those of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said on Wednesday, Florida law enforcement responded to a report of a child’s remains in Pace, Florida. An autopsy tentatively identified the boy as Gannon.
Santa Rosa County Sgt. Rich Aloy said Tuesday morning a road construction worker discovered the body just off of Highway 90 near the Escambia River bridge.
Police have not said how Gannon’s body got to Florida.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael Allen said he filed new formal charges against Letecia Stauch on Friday.
The new charges include first-degree murder after deliberation, which would mean life in prison without the possibility of parole, and eight counts of criminal violence for the alleged use of a firearm, blunt instrument, knife or sharp object, and for causing Gannon’s death. These charges add to Letecia Stauch’s original four charges.
- Murder in the first degree – after deliberation
- Murder in the first degree – victim under 12 in a position of trust
- Child abuse resulting in death
- Tampering with a deceased human body
- Tampering with physical evidence
- Eight counts of crime of violence
“We met with the family earlier today,” Allen said, “and they are obviously distraught with this information… they were still holding out hope that Gannon would come home alive despite the original charges in this case.” Allen said. “It’s tragic and our hearts go out to them.”
Letecia Stauch’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 14 at 3 p.m.
“This development doesn’t mean the investigation comes to an end, this still remains a very active investigation, so if anyone has any credible tips, contact the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office,” Allen explained.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who saw Letecia Stauch in Pace or Pensacola, Florida, between February 3 and 5, to contact them: 719-520-6666.
Stauch, Gannon’s stepmother, reported the boy missing from their Fountain-area home, as a runaway, on January 27. She was arrested on March 2 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
After news broke out, many came out to Lorson Ranch, Gannon’s neighborhood, to show their support.
“I’m glad they were able to find him and bring home and bring peace, but it’s a difficult time,” Nichelle Minkler said.
Minkler along with Tiffany Isle are both mothers and say this case hits home.
“He’s amazing, and just a little boy that didn’t deserve that,” Isle said.