'He's changed the world': Gannon Stauch's parents vow to keep his memory alive

Letecia Stauch, Gannon's stepmother, was found guilty of the 11-year-old boy's murder.
Posted at 12:59 PM, May 11, 2023

On January 27, 2020, Gannon Stauch, 11, was reported missing by his stepmother, Letecia Stauch. More than three years later, and after a jury trial that lasted over a month, Letecia was found guilty on all counts in the boy's murder. She was handed down two life in prison sentences from Judge Gregory Werner on Monday.

Two days after the verdict and sentencing, Gannon's mother, Landen Bullard, welcomed our partners at Denver7 inside of the short-term rental where she's been staying in Colorado Springs. Inside the home, Bullard wore a blue dress and sat next to blue flowers — blue was her son's favorite color.

“Today is a weird day. I still feel like a weight is lifted, but also feel some emptiness," Bullard said. “I just guess it's peace and freedom that's kind of instilling inside me.”

Bullard, who lives in South Carolina, said that peace has allowed her to believe she can be happy again.

“Guilty is a word that I've been waiting to hear," she said. “It was a whole bunch of emotions all at once. But the main thing was finally, like finally, after three years — which to me is way too long — finally, my son has justice.”

Her son Gannon is described as a fun and loving boy who would have turned 15 this year, according to his father, Al Stauch.

“I'm still heavy," said Al. “Where we go from here, I don't know. Right now, it's kind of a day-by-day process to get back to our new normal, if you will.”

Letecia Stauch pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but a jury determined she was sane when she stabbed Gannon 18 times, hit him four times over the head and shot at him three times. One of the bullets struck the young boy in the chin.

“I've had the question about whether [I saw] any red flags. I've had the question about whether [I saw] any signs. However you want to phrase it, nothing that was going on in my life, with Letecia in our relationship or anything else, equals what happened. None of it equals a brutally murdered child," Al said. “If she wasn't happy, just leave.”

“It's nobody else's fault other than hers," said Bullard. "We can sit here, and we can say woulda, coulda, shoulda. Who knows, it could still happen two years from now. We are not a killer. We're not in the mind of a killer. And so, it was not made for us to understand what happened.”

Ultimately, both parents are grateful the trial is over, and that they can focus on the future.

“As the pain and the anger diminish, I feel I'll get more of [Gannon]," Al said.

Al and his wife, Melissa, have a baby boy who's just more than one year old. He plans to tell his young son all about his big brother, who he won't get the chance to meet.

Meanwhile, Bullard hopes to start the Justice for Gannon Foundation in honor of her son. She has three central goals of the foundation: to improve laws surrounding missing children and the alerts sent out, raise funds for families who find themselves having to travel or pay for lodging and are in similar situations to what much of Gannon's family had to do over the past three years, and creating a grant to sponsor children who want to pursue a STEM career.

“We definitely want to make sure that we're doing it the right way, following the laws, have the right vision, mission statements, putting everything together, creating a board. And then once everything's together, we can put it out there," Bullard explained. “We don't have to focus on her. We can focus on what Gannon has shown us.”

When the foundation is officially established, Denver7 will follow up with this story.