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Search continues into second week for missing 5-year-old in Fruitland

Michael Joseph Vaughan
Missing child in Fruitland
Posted at 7:20 AM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 16:51:35-04

FRUITLAND, Idaho — UPDATE (8/4): The Fruitland Police Department held another news conference on Michael Joseph Vaughn, who has been missing for over a week. Michael's information has been entered into the National Crime Information Center.

13 law enforcement agencies have helped with the search efforts so far. Police have looked through 200 trash cans, drain canals and have gathered 60 videos from residents and businesses.

As of today, 163 tips have been received, many have been cleared but others are still being investigated. People with credible information that may be useful and has not yet been reported are urged to call the Payette County Sheriff's Office at 208-642-6006 ext. 0. All information received is being reviewed by investigators.

Over 3,000 acres of farmland have been searched with K9 teams and 29 miles of riverbanks using aircraft, drones, boats with K9s and paragliders. The drone flights will continue and the Fruitland Police Department plans to deploy a dive team to search a pond near southwest 8th Street.

UPDATE (8/2): Six days after Michael Joseph Vaughn went missing, search teams are still doing round-the-clock efforts to try and find him. Search efforts are being led by the Fruitland Police Department in conjunction with Idaho State Police, multiple Treasure Valley police agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"Our goal is to find Michael. We've called on a considerable number of highly trained people and specialized resources who've come here to Fruitland to join the search," said Fruitland Police Chief JD Huff. "Michael deserves every effort we can make to find him, and that's what we're doing."

Additional searches are being done by law enforcement and fire personnel using aerial, marine and land using specialized equipment with extra focus on areas in and around where Michael was last seen, according to a news release. Investigators are following up on information in an attempt to identify Michael's location.

Investigators are still asking people to search their property including all outbuildings, vehicles and irrigation ditches. Residents are asked to review any security camera footage for any sign of a small child in the area. Those with credible information that may be useful and has not yet reported it are urged to contact the Payette County Sheriff's Office at 208-642-6006.

Michael was last seen wearing a blue Minecraft t-shirt, black boxer briefs with green trim and blue flip flops. He is 3'7", 50 pounds and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

His family is still cooperating with the search effort the Fruitland Police Department asks the family's privacy be respected at this time. Additional updates will be released on Tuesday or as the investigation allows.

UPDATE (7/30): Fruitland Police are asking the public for help in identifying people who were in the area of SW 8th St., SW 9th St. and Cronwall Way from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. on July 27, the day Michael Vaughn went missing. If you were in the area or know someone who was, call Fruitland Police at 208-642-6006 ext. 0.

Police say even if you don't think you have relevant information, to call them so they can recreate a complete picture of the time and area Michael was last seen.

If you live in the immediate area, search your property, including all outbuildings, vehicles and irrigation ditches. Police are also asking residents to review any security camera footage for any sign of a small child in the area.

Police say Michael's family is being fully cooperative with law enforcement and they ask the community to be respectful of their privacy.

UPDATE (7/29): Fruitland Police with help from Idaho State Police and other Treasure Valley law enforcement agencies are still searching for missing five-year-old Michael Joseph Vaughn. On Wednesday, police searched residences near Michael's home and continued searches of the area with K-9 units and the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Team.

The Army National Guard deployed a helicopter and did a search of the entire area. Water levels in the area canals were dropped and searched by K-9 and fire personnel with no success.

According to a news release, the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Team was released Wednesday afternoon as police were confident the immediate area was thoroughly searched. Law enforcement will continue to coordinate search efforts.

This is an active investigation and the search effort is ongoing. The Fruitland Police Department is thanking all first responders and the community for taking the time to help look for Michael.

Police are asking the community for help with finding Michael by remaining observant. If you live in the area, search your property and security camera footage.

The Fruitland Police Department is coordinating citizen search efforts in the south parking lot of Fruitland High School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Police will be giving search assignments and are encouraging those willing to participate to organize with the department.

ORIGINAL STORY: Fruitland Police need your help finding a missing five-year-old boy.

Michael Joseph Vaughan -- who also responds to the nickname "Monkey" -- was reported missing around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Michael was last seen on foot around 6:30 Tuesday evening near his home on Southwest 9th Street in Fruitland.

Michael Vaughan is considered missing and endangered. He was last wearing a light blue Minecraft t-shirt with dark blue boxer briefs. He is 43 inches tall, 50 lbs., with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Local law enforcement, EMS agencies, and community members joined in on the search for Michael. Those efforts included vehicles, foot, and aerial searches thanks to drones and a St. Luke's helicopter. Fruitland Police say forward-looking/infrared thermal systems were used with no success.

Idaho Mountain Rescue later joined the search with their highly trained search and rescue personnel and a tracking K-9. Police are asking residents to check their property and security cameras for any sign of the boy.

Fruitland Police say as of Wednesday morning, Michael's whereabouts are still unknown and the investigation is ongoing. In a release, the department thanked the community and partner first responders for their help in thoroughly searching the area.

If you know anything about where Michael Vaughan may be, call 911 or the Payette County Sheriff's Office at (208) 642-6006, ext. 0.