Human remains found in Pace, Florida, tentatively have been identified as 11-year-old Gannon Stauch.
The remains were found Tuesday by a Florida Department of Transportation road crew doing work in the area around U.S. 90 and the Escambia River Bridge, said Sgt. Rich Alloy of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. The construction crew called the sheriff’s office to report the found body.
An autopsy was performed and results indicated the body belongs to Gannon, according to an El Paso County Sheriff’s Office news release. A gag order is in place for investigators and attorney’s involved in the case, and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said Friday it is not allowed to comment further on the remains.
“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Gannon,” the news release said.
The Santa Rosa sheriff’s office continues investigating how the body got to Florida and how long it had been there, Alloy said. He did not know whether Florida authorities had been advised to be on the lookout for Gannon in that state.
Letecia Stauch, Gannon’s stepmother, faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with Gannon’s death. She was arrested March 2 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Pace, Florida is about 15 miles north of Pensacola on the Florida panhandle. It’s almost 1,400 miles from Colorado Springs and nearly 700 miles from Myrtle Beach.
Letecia Stauch faces charges of first-degree murder of a child under the age of 12 by a person in a position of trust, tampering with a body, tampering with evidence and child abuse resulting in death.
Gannon was reported missing Jan. 27, and authorities and volunteers spent hundreds of hours searching for him.
In the days after Gannon disappeared, his parents made a video, pleading for his return. In it, his father, Albert Stauch, spoke about his son being miracle baby after weighing only 1 pound, 6 ounces at birth.
“Even today he’s still our miracle child. He still is and he’s such a happy child and he just brings life to every party,” the father said. “His smile, even today, is keeping us going. His infectious smile brings me joy every time I think about it.”
Gannon loved Sonic, the color blue, riding his bicycle with his sister, going outside and playing with his friends and telling corny jokes, his mother, Landen Hiott, said.
Albert Stauch has filed for divorce from his wife.
Letecia Stauch reported Gannon as missing, saying she last saw him leaving the family’s house to visit friends.
She was arrested by Colorado law enforcement on March 2 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. She did not fight extradition to Colorado. During a court hearing, El Paso County prosecutors said more than 100 search warrants had been filed in South Carolina and Colorado.
Stauch’s arrest affidavit and other case files remain sealed in El Paso County District Court. The Denver Post has joined multiple media organizations to argue for the release of those files.