DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Crews continued the search for missing Colorado Springs boy Gannon Stauch in a rural area of southern Douglas County on Friday.
At least three different crews were helping with the search, which was still focused on an area along South Perry Park Road, south of Larkspur. Crews were again using long poles to prod through snow in the area as they searched for Stauch, who went missing Jan. 27.
Neighbors were surprised to see so much activity in what normally is a remote area north of Palmer Lake.
"It’s really insane the amount of cars that have been up and down," Kolbi Williams said. "People in the beds of trucks traveling up to where they’re searching. For someone to be gone for 18 days and the weather that’s been happening the past few days, it’s cold, it’s windy. Now it’s hot and warm. Hopefully they’ll find him."
Officials said Wednesday that the search for Stauch had expanded to southern Douglas County and that Douglas County officials were assisting. Crews looked for the boy in both El Paso and Douglas counties Wednesday. Wednesday’s search involved more than 130 people, including search and rescue members, mounted units and K-9s, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said. It said it had received 442 tips so far in the investigation, which a spokesperson called “very active and fluid.”
Eighty-two people were involved in Thursday's search, which covers around 35 acres and was a continuation of the area searched on Wednesday, El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jacqueline Kirby said in an interview. She said that the 35-acre search south of Larkspur was the largest that was happening Thursday but that other searches were taking place as well. The FBI was involved in Thursday's search.
Kirby said that crews would be searching the area "as long as [they] need to be out there."
But investigators have otherwise been tight-lipped about why they are searching in particular areas and what new leads they may have developed in the case.
Last week, Roderrick Dayton, a neighbor of Stauch’s, shared surveillance video from his home that captured footage of what he says shows Stauch and his stepmother, Leticia Stauch, getting into a red truck in the driveway of their Colorado Springs home on Monday, Jan. 27 – the day the boy went missing.
Later, the video, Drayton said, shows the truck returning hours later but with only the stepmother appearing to get out.
Drayton told Denver7 he went back to review his surveillance camera video from that day as the search for Stauch intensified over the past week.
Leticia Stauch reported the boy missing just before 7 p.m. on Jan. 27, and told police at the time that she had last seen him between 3:15 and 4 p.m. that day, when he left to play at a friend’s house down the street.
Drayton said the surveillance video shows what he says is Gannon and his stepmother getting into the truck at 10:13 a.m. that day and Leticia returning, apparently alone, at 2:19 p.m.
Stauch's mother, Landen Hiott, and his father, Albert Stauch, pleaded for any credible leads in the case, in a YouTube video on the sheriff office's page last week.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office says its goal continues to be to find the boy and bring him home safely. Anyone with credible tips is asked to call the sheriff’s office’s tip line at 719-520-6666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.