DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The search for 11-year-old Gannon Stauch has been going on for 17 days, and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is now expanding its search to Douglas County.
“The search part and the investigation part are running parallel. As soon as we get tips and leads through our investigation, that determines the search areas,” Jacqueline Kirby of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office says.
There have been 442 tips as of Wednesday, and the sheriff’s office is searching both private and public property for Gannon.
“Anything that has to do with Gannon’s disappearance is of interest to the sheriff’s office,” Kirby said.
The area in Douglas County that the sheriff’s office targeted this week is the largest search they have going on for Gannon currently, utilizing 82 volunteers and having to navigate 35 acres of land.
Kirby says the land has a wide variety of terrain they are searching through, including tree areas, rough terrain and ravines.
“There’s terrain that goes down into deep ravines, that would have to be gotten down to by rope… various terrain they are navigating yesterday and today. We will see how long into the weekend the search out here will go,” Kirby said.
She continued on to say that the search will last for as long as it needs to in the area and could possibly continue through the weekend.
Kirby acknowledged the work done by both Douglas County and Jefferson County authorities, plus multiple other resources that have pulled together to search for Gannon this week.
“The search and rescue and the skilled individuals we have out here are used to this kind of weather, used to living in Colorado. We know it can be beautiful and 70 one day and the temperatures can plummet into the single digits. They are very skilled in what they do. We’ve got the mounted unit out here, we’ve got K9s out here,” she said.
The search continues in other areas outside of Douglas County as well. The sheriff’s office says that they have priority areas and less priority areas that they are continuing to navigate.
When asked why an Amber Alert had not gone out for Gannon, Kirby said, “the circumstances that surrounded his disappearance did not meet the criteria of having an Amber Alert sent out.”
Currently, 500 people are vetted and approved as volunteers for the search and are assisting in both larger and smaller searches.
Kirby says their end goal of this search has not changed: “It is our hope to find Gannon still alive to bring him home safe to his family… That is what we work for every day.”