NewsGannon Stauch Case


Investigators testify on blood patterns and 'violent' scene in Gannon's bedroom

Letecia Stauch is accused of killing her stepson in 2020
Posted at 12:07 PM, Apr 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-18 20:51:01-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Testimony resumed Tuesday morning in the murder trial of Letecia Stauch with investigators recalling efforts to find Gannon Stauch and what they find while tracking his stepmother's movements.

Letecia Stauch is accused of first-degree murder for the death of her stepson and the dumping of his body on the side of the road in Florida back in 2020. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Lt. John Sarkisian with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office told the court about the discovery of a bloody board near Palmer Lake where Letecia Stauch had visited. The board matched up with a board still in the family garage, according to Sarkisian.

Commander Mitch Mihalko, also with the sheriff's office, said of the investigation, “This is the largest in scope, depth and time, focused time, that I’ve ever been involved in.” He recalled how it became more difficult to communicate with the stepmother as they focused on her as a suspect.

Mihalko said as the investigation continued, he believed something violent happened in the Stauch home because of the blood patterns and stains found in Gannon's room. He said the scene was locked down on February 7, 2020.

He said Letecia was not acting like a step-parent or how a parent would in missing child cases. “As the information developed, it appears to me that the defendant was very cognizant of what was occurring, taking steps, almost being methodical in redirecting investigative efforts,” said Mihalko.

The next witness to be called to the stand was Alyssa Berriesford, a crime scene investigator with the Metro Crime Lab. She’s testifying as an expert in bloodstain pattern analysis.

Berriesford analyzed the blood stains in Gannon’s bedroom on the walls, baseboard, and floor area. “There was something dynamic that happened there, more than just a single event that happened in that room,” said Berriesford.

Berriesford added, “To have blood at that scale... there has to be some movement in that scene… a bloody object being swung was present in that room.” She said what happened in Gannon’s bedroom was “violent.”

She said of the blood patterns going in different directions, “That tells me that there’s probably more than one event happening to produce these stains.”

Berriesford said that based on her analysis, the blood was cleaned up. Some stains were blurred, not well-defined, or altered in some way.

During cross-examination, Berrriesford testified saying multiple events, in this case, indicated that there were blunt force impacts in different mechanisms, and the blood stains were indicative of a gunshot, blunt force injury, and sharp force injury.

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.

Letecia Stauch's daughter takes the stand and testifies about her mother's actions
Jurors shown video of Letecia Stauch alleged escape attempt
Jurors see first police interview with Letecia Stauch when questioned about Gannon's disappearance
"I knew she did it," said Letecia Stauch's half brother, referring to murdering her stepson
Testimony from the medical examiner on Gannon Stauch's injuries.
Gannon's father says his ex-wife was 100% sane
Gannon's father says his ex-wife was 100% sane
Prosecutors challenge insanity claim

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.

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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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