PAYETTE, Idaho — An Idaho woman accused of hiding the death of missing Fruitland boy Michael Vaughan has been found unfit to continue with court proceedings and has been committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Sarah Wondra was arrested on November 12, accused of failing to report the death of Michael Vaughan who was five years old when he went missing from his family's Fruitland home on July 27, 2021.
Since Wondra's arrest, Fruitland Police and ISP investigators have been excavating the backyard of the home where Wondra lives. They have not yet shared any details on what they've found, but Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff said they felt strongly the remains of Michael Vaughan would be found on the property.
Wondra was arraigned virtually in Payette County Court on Monday, November 14, and later ordered to undergo a mental competency evaluation.
Due to the findings of that evaluation, Wondra has been committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and her preliminary hearing set for Tuesday, November 22 has been vacated. Wondra did not appear at the November 21 status conference.
Sarah Wondra’s court proceedings have been put on pause.— Karen Lehr (@KarenLehr) November 21, 2022
Her mental competency was evaluated last week. Due to those findings, she’s been committed to @IDHW
New status conference set for 12/23.
She will NOT have her preliminary hearing tomorrow. #MichaelVaughan pic.twitter.com/lw9mvE0SeA
Officials will work to restore Wondra's mental competency before her next status conference now set for December 23. Should either party bring forward information related to her competency before then, Judge Brian Lee could move up the status conference to an earlier date.
In a Facebook post, the Fruitland Police Department said they've received more than 1,500 tips in Michael Vaughan's case since the investigation began last July and many since Wondra's arrest.
They've asked the community to give the Vaughan family privacy during this time and to keep away from the search area off Redwing Street.
Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to submit a tip to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Crime Stoppers, at 343COPS.com. Tips can remain anonymous.