Testimony continued Wednesday afternoon for the Letecia Stauch murder trial, with a dive team leader who found the body of her stepson, Gannon Stauch, taking the stand.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, prosecutors say 39-year-old Letecia Stauch stabbed, shot, and beat Gannon inside the family’s Fountain, Colorado, home in January 2020. Months later, his body was found stuffed into a suitcase beneath a bridge in Pace, Florida.
She’s currently on trial at the El Paso County Court in Colorado, facing first-degree murder and related charges.
Macon Ponder, a dive team leader and bridge inspector for the Florida Department of Transportation, testified Wednesday that he was part of an inspection crew in Pace that found a suitcase on the west side of the bridge, on March 17, 2020.
Ponder said he took note of the suitcase, then later returned to open it and was taken aback by the smell of “death.” He said it was not unusual for the team to find deceased puppies and other animals tossed under the bridge, but this particular smell was much stronger.
He then noticed what appeared to be a body and “two little feet that had football socks on them.” He subsequently contacted law enforcement.
Criminal Investigator and Santa Rosa, Florida, Major Crimes Detective Jason Yoder also took the stand Wednesday afternoon and detailed what he found in the suitcase upon arriving at the scene.
“There was a suitcase on the ground opened [and] what appeared to be a human body rolled out of the suitcase, covered with bedding and a pillow,” Yoder said, adding that the body was dressed in “jogging pants, an athletic top and football socks.”
Yoder said they determined the body may have been Gannon by noticing his distinguished front teeth, while the body’s size and description matched a missing child flyer from El Paso County, Colorado.
Letecia Stauch held her head down and covered her face with her hands as jurors were shown photos of evidence taken at the crime scene.
Yoder also testified that the Candlewood Suites in Pensacola was located minutes away from the bridge where they found the suitcase. Receipts retrieved by investigators indicated that Letecia Stauch checked into the Candlewood Suites in Pensacola on February 4, 2020, at around 10:38 a.m.
At 4:30 a.m. the following morning, a rental van that Letecia had allegedly been traveling in was spotted traveling a little under three miles to the Pace Bridge, as CrimeOnline reported.
Letecia Stauch is facing charges of:
- Murder in the First Degree (Child Under Twelve-Position of Trust §18-3-102(1)(f))
- Tampering with a Deceased Human Body, §18-8-610.5
- Tampering with Physical Evidence, §18-8-610(1)(a)
The trial continues. Check back for updates.
PART ONE: Tecia Stauch Interview
PART TWO: Tecia Stauch Interview
PART THREE: Tecia Stauch Interview
Neighbor Roderrick Drayton Interview
CLICK HERE to see all of our coverage on Gannon Stauch
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Feature Photo: Gannon Stauch/Handout; Letecia Stauch via KRDO-TV/The Gazette/AP, Pool]