The stepmother of a boy missing for more than a month was arrested on Monday and charged with his murder, authorities said.
Gannon Stauch, 11, was reported missing the afternoon of Jan. 27 when he left by himself to go to a friend's house down the street, Gannon's stepmother, Letecia Stauch, had told investigators.
Officials did not go into details on what evidence led to Letecia Stauch's arrest on Monday.
She was taken into custody Monday morning without incident in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder. The stepmother is facing charges of murder in the first degree, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a dead body and tampering with evidence.
Gannon's family, who were present at the Monday press conference, began to cry as Elder read the charges filed against Letecia Stauch. Gannon's mother, Landen Hiott, said she had just received the worst and best news.
"Obviously we know what the worst news is, but the best news is that justice will be served," Hiott said. "And I’ll make sure that justice is served because my boy did not deserve any of this that happened to him."
Hiott said she was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and love that strangers have sent her son in the past few weeks. She cried as she said that she knows Gannon is special and asked everyone who heard his story to hold him close.
"This is his story. So make that story magnificent, who my child is," Hiott said. "And I am putting it to you guys to do that. So thank you for allowing Gannon to be your hero and sharing him with us."
A statement was read by authorities Monday on behalf of Gannon's father, Al Stauch, who said his heart stopped at the news that his son was not coming home.
"The person who committed this heinous, horrible, crime is one I gave more to than anyone else on this planet, and that is a burden I will carry with me for a very long time," Al Stauch said.
The FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team and Colorado Springs and Fountain Police Departments have been helping El Paso County sheriff's deputies with the search and arrest of Gannon's stepmother.
Letecia Stauch is being held without bail in South Carolina until she can be extradited to Colorado. It is unclear whether she has retained an attorney.