EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has upgraded the search for missing 11-year-old Gannon Stauch from runaway to an endangered missing child. Stauch was last seen Monday afternoon between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. at his home in the Lorson Ranch neighborhood east of Fountain.
The boy was reportedly going to visit his friend a few streets away. His stepmom was reportedly the last person to see him.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said they had reason to believe that Stauch is a runaway. However, the case has been upgraded to endangered missing child because Gannon is under the age of 13, the amount of time that has passed, the cold weather and because Gannon needs medication.
The designation of endangered missing child means that the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office can request help from the National Missing and Exploited team and resources from the FBI crimes abduction division, which includes experts in the field of search and rescue.
Gannon’s mother pleaded with the public for his return at the news conference with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
“My son is a very loving kid, he wouldn’t harm anybody,” said Gannon’s mother Landen Hiott. ”Why is this happening to him?”
“My kid has a purpose and my kid has a life,” she said between sobs, “Gannon, bubba, little man, mommy’s hero, wherever you are at, we’re here for you. We’re begging for you to come home, I can’t wait until you’re found.“
Gannon’s father is a member of the National Guard, and the Guard is also assisting with search efforts.
His father also appeared at the news conference where he also sobbed while pleading for Gannon’s return.
Gannon is described as 4-foot-9 and 90 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
His mother said he was born premature, weighing only 1 pound, 6 ounces at birth.
“You are my hero, you are the reason I have life,” said Gannon’s mother.
If you have any information or if you see him, please call the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office right away at 719-390-5555.
The sheriff’s office is asking for additional help from the public in the search for Gannon which includes additional social media postings.
“Bring my baby home, I’m begging you,” said Gannon’s mother.