‘I need him at home’: police continue search for Fruitland boy, missing for over 110 days


A 5-year-old boy from Fruitland last seen near his home on the evening of July 27 has still not been found, but a comprehensive search for Michael Joseph Vaughan is ongoing.

Several local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are sweeping the area around the western Idaho city and following up on the hundreds of tips authorities have received. But so far, the investigation has failed to provide authorities with a breakthrough.

“We have received several credible advice,” Fruitland Police Chief JD Huff said at a press conference on Thursday. “We are working on it every day. We just find that they don’t get us anywhere at the end of the day.

Idaho State Police, Payette Police Department, Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue, and the FBI were all involved in the investigation, and a notice of the boy’s disappearance was sent to law enforcement. order throughout the country.

Michael’s search over the past three and a half months has included scans of the area within a 2 mile radius of the family home on SW 9th Street by professional search teams, trained dogs, forces of the order and local owners, according to Souffler. The street ends in an open field, which runs west toward Interstate 84 and the Snake River, less than 1 mile away.

Huff said the geographic searches are based on the “greater likelihood that Michael was lost, potentially injured, stuck in an irrigation ditch, a swimming pool, an outhouse, an old appliance, anywhere a curious 50-pound boy might be hiding.

At the same time, a criminal investigation is underway, Huff noted.

“Due to the fact that we have carried out multiple searches using all the tools at our disposal with no success, it increases the possibility that Michael was kidnapped,” he said.

While not suspects, police are looking for at least four people who were in SW 9th Street at the time of his disappearance. Two of the people were seen walking on the evening of July 27, while two vehicles – a Honda Pilot and a Dodge Avenger – left the scene the same night.

A city reward fund – which was paid via donations – of $ 50,100 is available to anyone who provides information leading to the safe return of Michael, Huff said. The funds will be available until March 31, 2022.

Michael has blonde hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a blue Minecraft t-shirt, black boxers with green trims and blue flip flops, police said. He is 3 feet 7 inches tall, weighs around 50 pounds, and goes by the nicknames MJ or “Monkey”.

At Thursday’s press conference, the boy’s mother, Brandi Neal, asked the audience for help.

“I am here to ask you to please keep Michael’s face, his name and his story in each of your hearts, eyes and minds,” she said. “He’s my baby. He’s my son. I need him at home.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Fruitland Police Dispatch at 208-642-6006 or email [email protected]

“Our family is shattered without him,” Neal said.


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