Duane "Dog" Chapman is using his fame to bring attention to the case of Gannon Stauch, an 11-year-old Colorado boy who has been missing for almost four weeks. The El Paso County Sheriff's office has released few details on the search, but Chapman said there could be a reason for that. On Friday, investigators suspended their search, which began after Gannon was reported missing on Jan. 27 when he did not come home.
Today I spoke with @DogBountyHunter Duane "Dog" Chapman who finds people for a living. He is weighing in on missing 11-year-old Gannon Stauch. Full story: https://t.co/yRlugniivv #FindGannon #GannonStrong #dogthebountyhunter @FOX21News pic.twitter.com/cjXPLvNd8L— Amber Jo Cooper (@AmberJoCooper) February 22, 2020
"A lot of things we don't need to know, cause they're, ya know, either government or the cops," Chapman told the local outlet. "If they really don't have any idea at all, cops would be like 'listen we need the public's help' absolutely, but if they got a couple hints or they are just waiting for someone to crack or evidence right, then that's why they are saying, 'It's under investigation.'"
The sheriff's office said they have received more than 700 leads, and Chapman said every one is important.
"Leads come in, as you hear, 'there's 155 leads and 1 panned out,' – that's so true!" Chapman said. "I used to think 'they're lying,' and I worked on this case 200 leads and finally one came through so, with cops, any investigator, you gotta work every single lead."
We remain steadfast and hopeful. Our investigation is progressing. We have received 675 Tips to date. If you have any credible information please either call our Tip Line at 719-520-6666 or email us at Tips@elpasoco.com. #FindGannon #GannonStauch #Missing #Hopeful pic.twitter.com/hSZq7E8fbC— EPCSheriff (@EPCSheriff) February 19, 2020
The case has sparked social media rumors and speculation, which officials have warned the public about. Chapman agreed that many of the social media tips can be misleading, adding that the internet is "not the bible." He pointed out that images circulating on social media could have easily been altered.
Chapman went on to point out that investigators likely went over Gannon's room already to find eveidence.
"I lost a daughter and her room, her stuff that was in her room… is still the same to this day," Chapman said. "You search that house, look in the room, what’s the room look like? Did they leave it messed up, did they clean it up, there’s a lot of things."
El Paso County investigators said Friday they have suspended the ground search for Gannon, but deputies are still investigating the cases. El Paso County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby also asked the public to be compassionate towards the parents, especially on the web.
"They are continuing to live a parents' worst nightmare, a family member’s worst nightmare, knowing that a child is not home safe with his family where he belongs," Kirby told CBS Denver.
Gannon's stepmother, Letecia Stauch, reported Gannon missing on Jan. 27. Authorities first considered Gannon a runaway case, but then considered him a missing and endangered child on Jan. 30 because of his age and need for medication.
On Feb. 12, Letecia Stauch released a statement about Gannon's disappearance in response to mounting criticism online, with some accusing he of being involved in he stepson's disappearance even though authorities have not named anyone a suspect in the case.
"Social Media has been devastating from the harsh comments, speculations, threats, cyber bullying, etc.," Leteicia Stauch wrote in the statement to KDVR. "It has been a challenge when people are trying to run you off the road, waiting outside your hotel, threatening to kill you, etc. I encourage the Sheriff’s Office to take down those pages that promote negative behavior and violence. Let's Do what Gannon would do. Be Kind to one another! We all have engaged in something crazy online at some point but Gannon would want everyone to get along and to focus on finding him."
Photo credit: Getty Images