EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Gannon Stauch’s body was found almost three months after his reported disappearance, 1,300 hundred miles away from his Colorado home.
As his stepmother’s murder trial continues Tuesday, the court heard what happened during that time and distance that prompted police to hone in on Letecia Stauch.
“This was the biggest search that I think anyone I’ve worked with for 20 years has been a part of,” El Paso County Sheriff’s Lt. John Sarkisian testified.
Sarkisian told the court about a search in February, where they found a board by a barbed wire fence off of the road in rural Douglas County.
“Soon as I saw that I was like, that’s blood,” Sarkisian testified.
GPS tracking, photos, helped build case
Kevin Clark, of the district attorney’s office, testified that GPS tracking data from Letecia Stauch’s phone led law enforcement to the location where they found the board. Her phone was found in the area two times after Gannon’s reported disappearance, the first a day after.
“Tuesday evening, and the second time was Friday night of the week Gannon went missing,” Clark testified.
Clark said he found a 2019 picture on the phone of Gannon’s father, Al Stauch, that captured a board that looked like the one found on the side of the road. He pointed out the similarities to the court Tuesday.
“One of the obvious ones is the broken-off part in this instance, top left of the board,” Clark testified. “The second one that might be more difficult to see, there’s a penciled X on this board.”
“Every lead we uncovered brought us back to a piece of that house,” Sheriff’s Lt. Mitch Mihalko testified.
More than a month before the discovery of Gannon’s body, crime scene investigators uncovered blood evidence in the boy’s bedroom.
“Something like this is a lot more, for lack of a better word, violent than I expected to see,” a crime scene investigator and expert in blood-stain pattern analysis, Alyssa Berriesford, said while pointing to pictures of their investigation in Gannon’s room. “To have blood at that scale and of those types of patterns, there has to be some movement within that scene.”
Another expert testified that blood splatters in Gannon’s room leads him to believe Gannon was on or near the floor for at least one of the events that injured and killed him.