EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — It's been two weeks since 11-year-old Gannon Stauch was reported missing near Colorado Springs, and the community came together over the weekend to show support for the boy's family.
Gannon has been missing since Jan. 27, when his stepmother said he left the family home to visit a nearby friend's house.
As local law enforcement and several other agencies have kept up the search to find Gannon, the community held a candlelit prayer event on Saturday, hoping for his safe return. Gannon's family attended the event as well and was overcome with emotion.
The event was a time of prayer, and a chance for the community to gather together with food and drinks. Money raised from the event was donated to the Stauch family. Organizers also handed out blue ribbons and lights for people to display.
"I think we're all kind of feeling like the heaviness of all of this and the sadness, but we're all coming together and really showing our support with the blue lights and coming to these events," neighbor Alex Pace said. "Just helping out in any way that we can."
"I actually got to be around him, to know the loving child that he actually is, and again, being a parent, you couldn't even imagine going through something as tragic as this right now," said Mathelda Warren, who says she lives next door to the Stauches and knows Gannon.
One of the people who helped organize the event by arranging food donations, Axisa Chavez, said she hopes the event shows the family they are loved.
"The best part that has come out of this is everyone showing how much they care and how much they can support someone in the community that they don't even know," Chavez said. "And I think that that's something to hold on to, to see that there's still hope, that people do care," said Chavez.
Meanwhile, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said they have now received more than 300 tips related to the case. On Saturday, they re-canvassed Gannon's neighborhood to ensure they interviewed any neighbors who may not have been present the first time.
On Friday, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said search efforts included concentrated smaller groups based on leads. Large group efforts have been suspended for the time being.
Last week, investigators received a video from one of the Stauches' neighbors that reportedly shows Gannon's stepmother, Letecia, Stauch, getting into a vehicle with Gannon on the day of his disappearance. The video later shows Letecua Stauch return home without Gannon.
Gannon's family released an emotion interview last week, calling for anyone with information about Gannon's disappearance to come forward.
"Everybody coming together, all the smiles that people have, this is why I have hope," Gannon's mother, Landen Hiott said. "Because I feel it. This is Gannon truly speaking to our community."
"Sometimes we jump for joy because we get information that we think might be a break in the case, and then the next minute we see something or get information that just breaks our heart into a million pieces again," Gannon's father, Al Stauch said. "But through all this, just know that your thoughts and your prayers and your messages — keep them coming, because even if we don't respond we are receiving them and that has given us strength to get through this."
Gannon was last seen Jan. 27 wearing a blue jacket and jeans. He is 4'9" and weighs 90 pounds.
Anyone with credible information about where Gannon might be should call the El Paso County Sheriff's Office tip line at 719-520-6666.