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"I knew she did it," said Letecia Stauch's half brother, referring to murdering her stepson

Before beginning his testimony, an emotional Dakota Lowery asked, “Why Tecia?!”
Posted at 9:59 AM, Apr 11, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Letecia Stauch murder trial resumed Tuesday with emotional testimony from her half-brother, Dakota Lowery. Before beginning his testimony, an emotional Lowery asked, “Why Tecia?!” He also recalled seeing a heavy, green suitcase when helping Letecia load a rental van days after Gannon’s disappearance, and later on said, "I knew she did it."

Stauch is accused of killing her stepson Gannon in 2020, reporting him as missing, and later dumping the body in a suitcase along the side of a road in Florida. Stauch has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Lowery admitted he is angry at Letecia, and did not want to testify in the case, but was in Colorado because he was subpoenad to appear as a witness.

During his testimony, Lowery said he flew to Colorado on January 30 to meet up with Letecia and her daughter, Harley. He said, “We felt like she was being wrongly accused for something we thought she’d never do… We also wanted to come out here and look for him,” referring to Gannon.

Lowery talked about them staying at a hotel, renting a van, and then on January 31, helping to move items belonging to Letecia and Harley out of the Stauch home.

He said police officers were at the Stauch home, and they were keeping a close eye on things being brought out of the home. He shared being “just aggravated, because I feel like we was getting looked at as criminals… They were looking at the whole family.”

Lowery also said they never ended up searching for Gannon when they were in Colorado Springs, because they felt like they weren’t being treated fairly by people and the police.

On February 1, 2020, Lowery said he and Letecia rented another van, and unloaded suitcases from the other van, and into the newly-rented van. Lowery testified saying he saw Letecia moving and carrying a green suitcase that looked heavy.

Lowery said when he saw the heavy suitcase, “I didn’t feel right about it.” Lowery said he asked Letecia what was in the suitcase, and she said softball stuff.

A photo of the suitcase that Gannon’s body was found in was then shown in the courtroom. Lowery, very emotional, said that’s the suitcase that Letecia was struggling with, that he didn’t feel right about.

Lowery said he was ready to go home after that, and he said that was the last time he saw Letecia until today.

When prosecutors asked Lowery if Letecia knew right from wrong, Lowery said he thought she did, and that she was too smart. When prosecutors asked Lowery if Letecia had mental health issues or ever referred to herself by using other names, he said no.

During cross examination when defense lawyers asked about Letecia pleading not guilty by reason if insanity, Lowery said, “When everything first happened and we found out about the body, and we found out where we was found, at that point, I knew she did it… and I thought she might’ve snapped and went crazy, but now, no.”

Members of law enforcement then testified about the investigation into Letecia Stauch after Gannon’s disappearance. GPS tracking devices were used and surveillance video at rental car agencies were observed. She was also followed by detectives.

The rental van that was driven in early February across country was also investigated. It was driven from Colorado Springs, to Pueblo, Dallas, Amarillo, Decatur, Ruston, Gallion, Ferry Pass, Lake City, Lake Buena Vista, Pooler, Conway, Myrtle Beach, etc. Evidence of blood was found in the rental van.

Jurors also listened to two phone calls, where Letecia called the emergency line and non-emergency line to report Gannon’s disappearance. Letecia is heard describing the situation, saying Gannon went a friend’s house and didn't come back.

Dispatcher: “Who was the last person to see him? Letecia - “Uh, I guess me?”

The dispatcher who also testified spoke about Letecia’s demeanor, and said, “Normally if we had a child of that age who hasn’t run away before, I would expect it to be scared a little more, a little more anxiety.”

A sergeant El Paso County Sheriff’s Office also testified and described how the investigation evolved throughout the days, saying it began as a missing persons and runaway case. He said investigators then “started to get a lack of cooperation from Mrs. Stauch who was the reporting party.”

The sergeant said investigators found blood evidence on the walls in Gannon’s bedroom, on an electrical socket, etc. Some evidence was visible, and some evidence was not easily visible to the human eye. He said the carpet where Gannon’s bed was, was saturated, and there was a stain on the concrete when he pulled the carpet up. He also said it appeared that the blood had been cleaned up.

Investigators then used a chemical to detect for blood around the Stauch home and in Gannon’s room. Investigators found iron/blood droplets in many areas of the home, including the garage floor, living room floor, laundry room, on a door handle, steps leading to the downstairs, the storage room floor, floor leading to Gannon’s room, etc.

In Gannon’s bedroom, dozens of blood evidence hits were found on the walls, on the carpet where his bed was located, on the concrete under the carpet, etc.

Tomorrow, jurors are expected to listen to the first interview Letecia had with detectives after Gannon’s disappearance. The interview is about five hours long.

Read more about Monday's testimony from the medical examiner on Gannon Stauch's injuries.

Follow updates from the courtroom with News5's Ashley Portillo on Twitter.As is normal in Colorado courts, media coverage of the events will be limited. No cameras are allowed in the courtroom to cover the actual trial process. However, anyone can watch using the virtual courtroom option from the El Paso County court system.

READ MORE:
READ THE ARREST AFFIDAVIT FOR LETECIA STAUCH
Gannon's father says his ex-wife was 100% sane
Prosecutors challenge insanity claim during opening statements in Letecia Stauch's murder trial

Gannon’s disappearance

At the time of his disappearance, law enforcement began a search for Gannon based on information provided by the stepmother who claimed he had gone to a friend’s house and had not returned.

Following several weeks of law enforcement and community-led searches for the missing boy, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office arrested Letecia Stauch in early March on charges of murder, child abuse, and crime of violence before his body was recovered.

Throughout all efforts to locate Gannon, investigators were already focused on Letecia Stauch based on her statements to law enforcement and evidence found at the family home and within her car.

During an initial interview with detectives, Letecia Stauch claimed a Hispanic male had raped her and kidnapped Gannon. According to court documents, she refused to undergo a medical examination to find evidence of a sexual assault and refused to provide any further description of an attacker. She later provided many different versions of events, which investigators detailed in the arrest affidavit.

Investigators believe Gannon was shot, stabbed, and beaten in his basement bedroom by the stepmother on January 27, 2020. A forensic search of the family home found blood stains were found on the boy’s mattress, carpet, baseboards, and electrical socket by his bed.

'My little boy is not coming home': Parents react to news of stepmother's arrest on murder charge

Gannon Stauch's stepmother charged with first-degree murder

Police say Gannon’s body was loaded into Stauch’s Volkswagen Tiguan to hide his body before she parked the car at the Colorado Springs Airport where she rented another vehicle and picked up his father after he traveled for military service.

One of the areas searched by law enforcement was a stretch of Highway 105 in Douglas County where investigators recovered a piece of bloody wood. The arrest affidavit states investigators believe Gannon’s body was originally dumped at this location using her Volkswagen, but she later returned to the area in another vehicle.

Gannon’s remains were eventually found on March 17, 2020, inside a suitcase dumped under a bridge near Pace, Florida. Investigators believe the stepmother dumped the body during a trip to South Carolina.

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