SOUTHERN COLORADO — On Sunday, people from all over Southern Colorado came together to say goodbye to Gannon Stauch. The 11-year-old boy was reported missing weeks ago, and after an arrest made by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, it is believed that he will not come back alive. His stepmother is facing charges in connection with his murder.
On March 8, less than a week since the arrest, hundreds of people gathered for church services and a cruise memorial ride in Gannon's honor.
The services were held at the Restoration Church in the Fountain Valley on both Saturday evening and Sunday morning. While the church is also collecting financial donations for the Stauch family, the pastor of the church focused on the grieving process during the service. "When you don't know what to do, I think you go to the basics, in God, in family, loving those that are close to you," said Pastor Paul Aragon.
Those at the service said they want the Stauchs to know they will be there for them, no matter what. "We love you, and we're going to continue to love you. We're going to be here for you through the thick and through the thin, and through the ups and downs. We're in this for the long haul," said Pastor Aragon.
One attendee of the service, Johnny Row, said he does not think Gannon will "ever be alone."
After the church services, around 400 cars took to the streets with Gannon's memory on their mind, as part of a memorial cruise organized by the Southern Colorado Project Cars. Those with the group said they only put this event together around a week ago, but the community showed up in full throttle. "Anytime that I've seen his picture shared, anytime that I've shared it, anytime I watch any of the videos, all I do is cry. I can't imagine what the family is going through or how bad this hurts them," said Nick Hardin, the Colorado Springs President for the Southern Colorado Project Cars group.
The group also sold items during the event, with all the money raised going directly to Gannon's father. Those with the group said they raised around $200.
The cruise memorial started at the Dutch Bro's location off of Austin Bluffs, and ended at the entrance to the Lorson Ranch neighborhood. Gannon's father tells News5 he was happy he decided to come to the cruise memorial, and he and his daughter were actually one of the cars leading the way. He said he was blown away by the amount of community support he saw.
Meanwhile, Gannon's stepmother Leticia Stauch, is due back in court this week. She is scheduled to be formally charged in connection to Gannon's murder in El Paso County Court on Wednesday at 4 p.m.