Missing Boy's Stepmom Left Home With Him, Returned Alone

Leticia Stauch was last person to see 11-year-old Gannon on Jan. 27
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2020 7:54 AM CST
Stepmom of Missing Boy Gets Defensive: I Wouldn't Hurt Him
Landon Hoitt, foreground, and Albert Stauch, background, parents of Gannon Stauch, make a tearful plea for the return of their son on Jan. 30, during a news conference at the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.   (Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette via AP)

The search for an 11-year-old boy reported missing a week ago in Colorado Springs is intensifying, with surveillance video seeming to contradict the initial version of events offered by his stepmother. Leticia Stauch reported Gannon Stauch missing on Jan. 27, telling authorities he had left his home in the Lorson Ranch neighborhood between 3:15pm and 4:15pm to meet a friend, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Department. But neighbor Roderrick Drayton says his security camera recorded Stauch and Gannon leaving the home in a red pickup truck at 10:13am that day, and Stauch returning alone some four hours later, per ABC News. Drayton adds he showed the video to Gannon's father, Albert, on Sunday. "He just broke down crying and said, 'She lied. She lied about the time. He didn’t go to a friend's house,'" he says.

A rep for the sheriff’s office says the video is "just one piece in a very, very, very large puzzle." There have been more than 180 tips, per the Denver Post. Meanwhile, Stauch says she's received death threats. "I took care of Gannon for the last two years in our home because his mother didn't want to do it. And I would never, ever, ever hurt this child," she tells KKTV. She says she took Gannon on a hike, then to lunch, but can't comment on what followed. She also says she was denied an attorney in a police interview. Authorities are searching in Lorson Ranch and an area 10 miles away. But a winter storm may prove a complication. Gannon's mother also says the boy—born at 1 pound, six ounces, with a 10% chance of survival—needs special medication, per ABC. "Please have hope with me," Landen Hoitt tells KKTV. "Bring my baby home." (More missing child stories.)

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