COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (TCD) — The murder trial has begun for a 39-year-old woman accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson and leaving his body in a suitcase under a Florida bridge three years ago.
KKTV-TV reports the jury for Letecia Stauch’s trial consists of 11 men and seven women, and opening statements began Monday, April 3. She is charged with 13 crimes, including first-degree murder, child abuse causing death, and more in connection with the death of her stepson, Gannon.
Stauch reported Gannon missing to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Jan. 27, 2020, saying he left the house around 3:15 to 4 p.m. to go to a friend’s house down the street. The Sheriff’s Office worked with several law enforcement agencies searching for Gannon and spent over 2,000 hours looking for him.
Investigators arrested Stauch in Horry County, South Carolina, on March 2, 2020, on charges of first-degree murder, child abuse, tampering with a deceased body, and tampering with evidence. She was eventually extradited back to Colorado and booked into custody.
Another break in the case occurred March 18, 2020, when the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office in Florida contacted the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to report they found a deceased juvenile boy, who was later positively identified as Gannon.
According to Stauch’s arrest affidavit, investigators allege she killed Gannon on Jan. 27 in his bedroom after 2 p.m. Evidence reportedly “supports that a violent event occurred in his bedroom, which caused bloodshed, including blood spatter on the walls, and enough blood loss to stain his mattress, soak through the carpet, the carpet pad, and stain the concrete below his bed.”
The same day Gannon was killed, Stauch reportedly asked her daughter to pick up carpet powder, baking soda, and trash bags. The affidavit says baking soda “has an efficient effect in removing blood stains.”
Stauch allegedly told investigators at first that a man came into her home, raped her, and kidnapped Gannon. She also reportedly shared several different stories about Gannon’s whereabouts when she disappeared.
Both prior to and after Gannon’s death, Stauch reportedly searched for jobs and apartments in Florida and Los Angeles. She also reportedly looked up topics on Google that included “find me a rich guy who wants me to take care of his kids,” “mom advice from stepmom,” “find a new husband,” “i feel like im just a nanny not a stepmom,” “they are asking for our son’s toothbrush but said nothing was wrong,” and more.
Stauch’s husband is in the National Guard and was deployed between Jan. 25 to Jan. 28, 2020.
KOAA-TV reports Gannon was shot under his chin and stabbed 18 times. He suffered a fractured skull and had defensive wounds on his hands. Stauch allegedly drove from Colorado to Florida, then up to South Carolina, where she was arrested.
Gannon’s body was reportedly wrapped in blankets and left inside a suitcase.
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