COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS) — The search for an 11-year-old boy missing for more than two weeks has expanded into a neighboring county more than 50 miles from his home. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office announced that searchers were also looking for Gannon Stauch in northern El Paso County and southern Douglas County.
The agency did not give a reason for the shift in the search, which originally focused on the area around the boy’s neighborhood near Fountain, southeast of Colorado Springs.
“We are running this investigation, the search piece of the investigation and the investigative piece are running parallel with each other. So as we get tips and leads and information through our investigation that determines our search areas,” said El Paso County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jackie Kirby.
More than 130 people, including members of search and rescue teams, searched for Gannon Wednesday with the help of dogs. The search on Thursday also included dogs and more than 80 people. At times, they used poles to search the deep snow.
“It’s 35 acres, very different terrain. There are some treed areas, there’s very rough terrain. There’s terrain that goes down into deep ravines that would have to be gotten down to by rope. So again very various terrain that they’re navigating here yesterday, today and we’ll see how long into the weekend this search out here will go,” said Kirby.
Last week, searchers used a remote-operated underwater vehicle to search a pond near Gannon’s neighborhood but the office said that was not an indication that it thought the boy was dead.
Stauch was reported missing Jan. 27 by his stepmother, Letecia “Tecia” Stauch, who said Gannon left to go to a friend’s house in the afternoon. Authorities called him a runaway when it first asked the public for help finding him. But the sheriff’s office announced Jan. 30 that Gannon was considered a missing and endangered child because of the time he had been gone, his age and his reliance on medication.
The FBI and other agencies have joined the search for Gannon.
If you see him, please call the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office right away at 719-390-5555 or 911.
If you have any information that can help in this case, call EPSO’s tipline at 719-520-6666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.