YouTuber charged people to see autopsy photos of 11-year-old: 'Completely disrespectful'

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(NewsNation) — A YouTuber obtained gruesome autopsy photos of a murdered 11-year-old boy and then charged money for people to view them, NewsNation has learned.

The YouTuber, going by the name “Zav Girl,” sent in a Freedom of Information Act request for the autopsy photos of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch, who was fatally stabbed and shot by his stepmother in 2020.

Once the pictures were released to the person running the YouTube account, she charged her followers $3 on Patreon to view them.

Prosecutors said Gannon Stauch’s stepmother Letecia Stauch killed him in January 2020 because she hated him and wanted to hurt his father, Al Stauch, whom she planned to leave and who was away on a National Guard deployment at the time. She stabbed him 18 times while he fought back, then hit him in the head and shot him. From there, she stuffed the 11-year-old’s body in a suitcase and drove to Florida to dump it over a bridge.

Michael Allen, the lead prosecutor on the Stauch case, said his office reached out the child’s family about the photos but there’s not much they can do to completely take the photos down once they have been shared on the internet.

“It’s just completely disrespectful to the family members that have had to live through this horror,” Allen said during an appearance on “Dan Abrams Live” on Tuesday evening. “But even more so, Gannon deserved so much more in life from his stepmother and he certainly deserves dignity and respect in death. There’s nothing about what this YouTuber is doing, and I think there’s another one out there as well … that provides any dignity or respect to Gannon.”

After receiving backlash, the YouTuber posted a statement about the controversy.

“The reality of the situation is that different people feel differently about this,” the YouTuber wrote, in part, in the since-deleted statement. “Some people genuinely think making a video including the autopsy photos is bad and I respect their opinion and feelings. Other people, like myself, think of autopsy photos and the coroner discussing/explaining them as interesting and informative and are able to view it all in a more scientific detached way.”

But Allen thinks the reasoning behind releasing the photos “rings hollow” and thinks there are other ways to scientifically show what happened.

“They could have used body diagrams that the autopsy also included, instead of putting the actual pictures of Gannon’s just completely broken body that reflects the depravity and horror that he had to live through,” Allen said.

“It just speaks to the lowest of human forms, in my opinion,” he continued.

Letecia Stauch appears in El Paso County District Court in Colorado Springs, Colorado, March 11, 2020. (KRDO-TV/The Gazette via AP, Pool, File)

Allen said that since the autopsy was performed in Florida, authorities in the state approved the Freedom of Information Act request.

“Florida law allows these sorts of things to go out,” Allen said, later adding: “Maybe we need to look at changing the law as it relates to autopsy photos being released on the internet.”

The images of Gannon’s body are so graphic, parts of them were blocked at Letecia Stauch’s trial. Stauch was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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