Gannon Stauch in plaid blue shirt

Gannon Stauch: Former Detective Says Accused Killer Stepmom Became ‘Angry,’ Declined Interviews About Missing Stepson

Testimony continued Wednesday morning in the Letecia Stauch murder trial; she stands accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon Stauch.

Prosecutors say Stauch stabbed, shot, and beat her stepson inside the family’s El Paso County home in Colorado, on January 27, 2020. Months later, his body was found stuffed into a suitcase beneath a bridge in Pace, Florida.

Letecia Stauch is on trial at the El Paso County Court, facing first-degree murder and related charges.

Former El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jessica Bethel took the stand first Wednesday morning and said she was assigned to Gannon’s case in late January 2020, while he was still missing.

Bethel said she initially wanted to speak to the defendant at her home in the Lorson Ranch neighborhood in Fountain, but Stauch said there were several children in the home that would overhear the conversation. They ultimately agreed to meet up at a Colorado Springs Starbucks.

On January 28, Bethel met with Stauch, along with Gannon’s father, Al Stauch, at Starbucks and discussed the case. Al Stauch told Bethel that Gannon was a good child who did his chores and listened to his parents, only getting in trouble when he sneaks “to play his games when he is grounded.”

“I know every parent says this, but he’s a pretty straight kid. He does his chores, makes straight A’s, kind-hearted,” Al Stauch told Bethel.

The defendant, according to Bethel, said she took Gannon to Colorado Springs’ Garden of the Gods nature center on January 26, 2020. Stauch said the following day, Gannon complained of stomach pains and stayed home from school. Letecia stayed home with him, she said, then spent the morning running errands with Gannon.

Letecia Stauch said she went to a Petco store on January 27, 2020, while Gannon stayed inside the truck, parked near the store. After running more errands, they returned home, Letecia Stauch said, and Gannon disappeared that afternoon.

Both Al and Letecia, at the time, believed that Gannon had taken his Nintendo Switch, left for a friend’s house, and never returned home. Al Stauch also made reference to a man with “a lot of problems” that Gannon’s mother, Landen Hiott, allegedly associated with.

At some point that day, a text to Al Stauch came from Gannon’s phone, asking about “bath salts.” Letecia Stauch said Gannon had asked her about bath salts the day prior, so she made him a bath with a “bath bomb.”

After the initial interview, according to Bethel, Letecia Stauch refused subsequent interviews and said she wouldn’t talk without an attorney.

“She was angry with me,” Bethel testified. “I’m not sure exactly why she was angry with me, but she was angry with me.”

The defendant later changed her mind and agreed to another interview.

On January 29, Letecia Stauch arrived two hours late at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to meet Bethel for follow-up questioning. A portion of the four-hour interview was played in court Wednesday.

“I’m going to have to tell you some very personal things,” Stauch said to Bethel during the interview, then claimed she hadn’t eaten in a while.

Bethel offered Stauch some refreshments before the interview continued.

Stauch then described the day leading up to Gannon’s disappearance, which included him accidentally starting a fire with a candle on January 26, 2020. Stauch said she ran downstairs and found Gannon sleeping on the couch next to the fire.

Stauch said she got everyone out of the home safely and noticed Gannon had some burn blisters on his arm. Stauch said she didn’t realize how serious the arm burns were until the following day.

“I made a mistake, I swear to y’all, I didn’t know they were that bad,” Stauch told Bethel during the interview.

Stauch said she spoke to Gannon about repairing the burned carpet. He stayed home from school on January 27, 2020, because of stomach issues and to help repair the carpet, the defendant said.

The remaining portion of the interview is expected to be played in court following lunch recess.

The trial continues. Check back for updates.

Additional Reading

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

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to a previous episode on the case below.

[Feature Photo: Gannon Stauch/Facebook via Landen Hiott]