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Authorities say Gannon Stauch ‘missing and endangered’ after days gone

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- In an update Saturday afternoon the El Paso County Sheriff's Office says that 11-year-old Gannon Stauch has yet to be found.

Over 160 people continue to search for and recover any evidence that could lead to his return, says EPSCO.

"There are no words to express the family's appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of everyone involved in searching for Gannon," said Jacqueline Kirby with the Sheriff's Office in a statement.

The Sheriff's Office is reminding residents of the Lorson Ranch area -- where Gannon was last seen -- to check for areas on their property where a child might hide. Those include yards, window wells, outbuildings and culverts.

If you have any information as it relates to Gannon's case, you're asked to call the Sheriff's Office Tip Line at 719-520-6666 or email shrtips@elpasoco.com. The Sheriff's Office says they've received 110 tips so far and continue to follow-up on each viable lead.

Previous coverage:

It's been days since 11-year-old Gannon Stauch was reportedly last seen in his home near Fountain, and now police and law enforcement are investigating his disappearance as a missing and endangered child case.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office gave the update Thursday evening. Stauch, who allegedly disappeared on Monday, was previously listed as a runaway.

The new development means that additional resources will be available from the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children.

On Friday, the Sheriff's Office says they have received 72 tips to their hotline, and are vetting each one.

Several agencies including the FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment have joined the search effort. The Army 4th Engineer Battalion and
National Guard 100th Missile Defense Brigade have both joined in 100% non-duty volunteer status.

WATCH the press conference below:

Also on Thursday, a Sheriff's Office patrol car with two deputies was parked for an extended period of time across the street from the Stauch family home, and two other men appearing to be law enforcement officers sat in an unmarked car down the street.

However, the officers left the scene after two men and a woman got into a pickup truck parked in the driveway, and drove away.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 knocked on the door at the home but no one answered.

Many people on social media are wondering why more information about Gannon isn't available. As KRDO NewsChannel 13 reported Wednesday, it is the policy of the Sheriff's Office to investigate reports of missing children aged 10 and older as runaways, until evidence is found to prove an abduction or kidnapping has taken place.

Gannon was last seen by his stepmother Monday afternoon while leaving to meet a friend near his home on Mandan Drive in the Lorson Ranch community.

Kaitlyn O'Kelly, a neighbor across the street, said she immediately checked her home's security camera to see if Gannon was recorded there.

"I didn't catch anything on (it)," she said. "A friend in the neighborhood a couple of houses down said that she might have caught some kids talking on her camera Monday afternoon, but she wasn't sure if it was him."

But investigators said they had checked home security cameras in the neighborhood and had not identified images of Gannon on any of them.

Also on Thursday, several people searched through and around a vacant house on Fountain Mesa Road, in case Gannon was hiding there. No one was found.

Xavier Hannah and his wife, Jessalynn Nostrum, were among the searchers.

"You can never really take anything for granted," Hannah said. "There are a hundred places he could be hiding. He could be anywhere, really--nationally, even. It's kind of sad. I just wanted to help out as much as I possibly could. There are child molesters around, too. Someone could have taken him. Maybe he's hiding because he's scared he'll get in trouble once he's found."

Community leaders who organized a massive search for Gannon Thursday plan to tie blue ribbons on light poles in Lorson Ranch Friday.

"They will point the way home for him," said Sara Robertson, one of the organizers.

The sheriff's office said multiple people have been interviewed and that deputies are searching several locations, but added that effectively investigators had exhausted all of their leads through Thursday.

Jackie Kirby with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office also warned of the rapid spread of false rumors on social media.

“The misinformation that has been spread on social media has been an absolute hindrance to this case. Every rumor, every thought, everything that someone thinks they saw takes away our ability to vet credible tips,” Kirby said.

The sheriff's office said any additional information would be posted to the agency's social media pages.

Stauch's father and his biological mother were at the press conference and made an emotional plea for him to return home.

“I encourage you guys to seek and find him, I’m so thankful for the outpour and help this case has brought," said Landen Hiott, Gannon's mother. "My son is a loving kid and wouldn’t want any harm on anybody. It’s so hard to think why is this happening to him? My kid has a purpose, my kid has a life, it’s important to me and it’s important to everyone standing in this room. Gannon, bubba, little man, mommy’s hero, wherever you’re at, mommy’s here, we’re begging and pleading for you to come home. I know that’s your biggest wish to see your mommy and daddy standing here. We’re here bubba.”

Stauch's stepmother wasn't in attendance at the press conference.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for KRDO.com. Learn more about Andrew here.

Comments

6 Comments


  1. My Prayers go out for this young man that he will be found safe and return to his family unharmed and healthy.

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