Watch CBS News

Investigators Believe Gannon Stauch Was Killed On Same Day He Was Reported Missing

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A sealed arrest affidavit for murder suspect Letecia Stauch was leaked on social media Thursday night. CBS4 has confirmed the document's authenticity with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

Letecia Stauch
Letecia Stauch (credit: El Paso County)

Stauch was arrested on March 2 for the murder of her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon Stauch. The boy's remains were found on March 18 in a suitcase under a Florida overpass.

Stauch reported Gannon missing on Jan. 27, setting off weeks of searches organized by federal and local police agencies and members of the community. Investigators said Stauch's story "dramatically changed multiple times" over the following days.

El Paso County Case
(credit: El Paso County)

According to the 32-page affidavit, investigators believe Gannon was killed in his bedroom on the afternoon of Jan. 27. Investigators found blood evidence on Gannon's mattress, carpet and walls.

Gannon's father, Al Stauch, was deployed with the National Guard from Jan. 25-28. Investigators were able to corroborate this information and said Mr. Stauch has cooperated with the investigation.

The affidavit states Letecia drove Gannon's body to an area off of Highway 105 in southern Douglas County on the evening of Jan. 28. The Metro Crime Lab determined blood found in a particleboard located in that area was a DNA match for Gannon. Suspected blood was also found in Letecia's car.

The affidavit does not explain how Gannon's body was moved to Florida.

On the evening of Jan. 26, the affidavit states Letecia texted Al that Gannon had a stomach problem. Gannon did not attend school the following day. According to the text exchange, Letecia told Al that she would come up with an excuse to stay home with Gannon. Investigators said Letecia told her employer that she would not be at work that day because her stepfather was killed after being hit by a car.

Days after Gannon disappeared, Letecia defended her innocence in an interview with Colorado Springs television station KKTV. She said she requested an attorney while being questioned by sheriff's investigators and insisted she would never do anything to harm the boy.

Investigators believe Letecia lied about visiting neighboring homes while searching for Gannon. She was unable to provide the location of the homes she visited, along with the names of the friends Gannon was supposed to be playing with the afternoon he was reported missing, according to the affidavit.

Neighboring surveillance cameras captured two people investigators believed to be Letecia and Gannon driving away from the home around 10:16 a.m. on Jan. 27. The vehicle returned to the home around 2:22 p.m., and investigators believe both Gannon and Letecia were inside. Letecia's daughter was at work during this time and Gannon's younger sister was at school, according to investigators.

Letecia's 17-year-old daughter has refused to speak with investigators. The affidavit states Letecia asked her daughter to buy carpet cleaner, trash bags and baking soda. Investigators said these items were likely used to clean up the murder scene.

Investigators stated in the affidavit that they do not believe Letecia's daughter was present when Gannon was killed or when his body was moved, based on cell phone records.

In an interview with investigators on Jan. 29, Letecia arrived at the sheriff's office two hours late with written notes. Letecia told investigators she was held at gunpoint, raped and abducted by a man named Eguardo on the day Gannon disappeared. Letecia said Gannon fought back against the man inside their home before Letecia hit her head and passed out.

When investigators asked Letecia if she would undergo a sexual assault forensic exam, she declined. Investigators also reviewed surveillance video from a neighbor and did not observe a man entering the house during the time Letecia claimed she was attacked.

Between Jan. 25-28, investigators determined Letecia viewed websites associated with searching for a job in Florida and California. Letecia's Google search history on Jan. 25 includes, "I'm over doing all the work for my step kids and their mom doesn't help," and "one day people will wish they treated you differently."

On her cell phone, investigators said Letecia searched, "are there any free money to move away from bad situation." On the morning of Jan. 27, investigators said Letecia searched on Google, "my son burned the carpet how do I fix it?"

In her discussion with Al, Letecia, without prompt, provided explanations for why blood would be found on Gannon's bedroom wall along with an alibi for why she was in the area where the particleboard was recovered. Investigators said information about blood evidence in the home and on the particleboard had not been released publicly at that time.

A search of court records in North Carolina reveals Letecia has a criminal past. Investigators said she was convicted after a trial for communicating threats, a misdemeanor. She was also sentenced to 45 days confinement and 18 months of probation for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Stauch's teaching certificate in South Carolina was suspended in 2016. School officials said Stauch breached her contract by "engaging in unprofessional conduct, willfully neglecting her duty, and failing to comply with provisions of her contract." The officials added that Letecia had filed unsubstantiated claims of harassment and retaliation from a relative of Gannon's biological mother who worked for the district.

Academy District 20 rescinded an employment offer for Letecia Stauch on Jan. 29 while she was going through orientation for a teaching job at Mountain Ridge Middle School. Letecia took part in orientation from Jan. 22-24.

"When any employee is hired in Academy District 20, we conduct a full background check, including a Colorado Bureau of Investigation review, which revealed Ms. Stauch was eligible for hire. Additional due diligence and reference checks revealed inconsistent information," stated a memo from the district to parents of students.

Letecia faces several charges, including first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence. The murder charge could carry a sentence of life in prison without parole. Al Stauch filed for divorce on March 5.

RELATED: Gannon Stauch's Father Thanks Community For Support After 11-Year-Old's Remains Found

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.