(CBS4) – It has been five weeks to the day since 11-year-old Gannon Stauch was last seen and detectives have made an arrest. Letecia Stauch, Gannon’s stepmother, is in custody on investigation of first degree murder and a number of other charges.

Gannon Stauch and Letecia Stauch

Gannon Stauch and Letecia Stauch (credit: Stauch Family/El Paso County)

Investigators made the announcement at a press conference Monday morning, where Gannon’s mother, Landen Hiott, also spoke.

“I never imagined I would be standing here. It’s a nightmare,” she said.

Letecia was arrested in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where the family once lived.

“She was taken into custody without incident and will be held at our facility until her hearing tomorrow morning,” Myrtle Beach Police Spokesperson Cpl. Tom Vest said.

In Colorado, Hiott and Gannon’s father Al Stauch stood hand-in-hand behind the team of detectives who have spent countless hours searching for their son, who has yet to be found.

“When he said Gannon is no longer with us I would have to say Gannon is with us,” Hiott said about the son she says is now her hero.

He’s hero that captured the hearts of thousands. Some felt compelled to pay their respects by visiting a growing memorial near the family’s home.

“I just decided to go get flowers and I mean I wish I could do more but there’s nothing we can do,” one man said as he laid flowers at the family’s doorstep.

(credit: CBS)

Hiott thanked the community she was once a stranger to, and while she fought back tears talking about her son, she was firm in her message to the woman now believed to have taken his life.

“Justice will be served and I will make sure just is served because my boy did not deserve any of this to happen to him,” she said.

A statement from Gannon’s dad was also read at Monday’s press conference, in part he said “the person who committed this heinous horrible crime is one that I gave more to anyone else on this planet and that is a burden that I will carry with me for a very long time.”

Letecia Stauch will make her first appearance in a Myrtle Beach courtroom Tuesday morning at 9 am and then will be extradited back to Colorado.

Karen Morfitt

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