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'I just wish my angel wasn't in heaven': Memorial service celebrates life of Gannon Stauch

The El Paso County boy was reported missing in January and his remains were found in Florida months later.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A memorial service was held Friday morning to honor the life of Gannon Stauch, the 11-year-old El Paso County boy who was reported missing in January and later found dead in Florida.

Gannon's dad Al Stauch and his grandmother were among the speakers at the service.

"I just wish my angel wasn't in heaven," said Gannon's dad as he held back tears.

The service was streamed online by the Restoration Church in Colorado Springs.

"Only after the memories came spilling in from his classmates and friends, did I really understand the impact my son had," his dad said.

RELATED: Stepmother accused of murdering 11-year-old Gannon Stauch expected to be moved to Pueblo hospital

Gannon's biological parents have described their son as energetic and happy and said he loved sports.

"I'd been looking forward to his teenage years, and the fun we had ahead of us as he became a young man," his dad Al Stauch said after learning of his death. "My little boy is not coming home. We will never play Nintendo again. No more taco Tuesdays. No more smooth looking haircuts. No more big bubba for my Lana. And no more Gman for the world." 

Credit: El Paso County Sheriff's Office
Gannon Stauch was last seen Monday at his home in Colorado Springs.

The boy’s step-mother, Letecia Stauch, has been charged with his murder – and the documents detail what are described by investigators as “many lies” told by her during the course of the weeks-long investigation. 

According to the documents, investigators theorize that the murder occurred in the boy’s bedroom the afternoon of Jan. 27 – sometime after 2:14 p.m. 

Investigators theorized in the records that Letecia Stauch then cleaned up the evidence of the killing before calling 911 at 6:55 p.m. that evening to report that Gannon hadn’t returned home after heading out to play with friends. She later changed her story, claiming she’d been held at gunpoint and raped by a man who abducted Gannon, according to the documents. Investigators could find no evidence to support that story. 

A long-running investigation – and extensive searches in El Paso and Douglas counties for Gannon’s remains – culminated in Stauch’s arrest March 2 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

RELATED: 'My little boy is not coming home': Stepmom of Gannon Stauch arrested on first-degree murder charge

She was brought back to Colorado and remains behind bars in El Paso County, where she is being held without bail on 13 felony counts:

  • First-degree murder after deliberation.
  • First-degree murder of a person under 12 by someone in a position of trust.
  • Child abuse resulting in death.
  • Tampering with a deceased human body.
  • Tampering with physical evidence.
  • Seven counts of a crime of violence for using a weapon (the weapons listed in the complaint include a firearm, blunt object and sharp object).
  • One count of crime of violence – causing severe bodily injury or death

On March 20, El Paso County sheriff’s officials announced that remains found in Florida had been tentatively identified as Gannon’s. They were later confirmed to be his.

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