FRUITLAND, Idaho — Flyers for missing five-year-old Michael Vaughan dot storefront windows across the city of Fruitland. Police are now in their second week of searching for the boy who was reported missing near his home on July 27 on Southwest 9th Street.
“To my knowledge, I don’t think we’ve ever experienced anything like this before. It’s absolutely devastating," said Terri Shurte, a resident of Payette and founder of the Treasure Valley Long Riders. "I think that’s why the community is coming in such force to show the family support and we are here for them. We want to bring him home.”
Shurte said she was asked by a friend of Vaughan's family if the group would organize a fundraiser to support the family. The “Bring ‘Monkey' Home Poker Run” references the little boy's nickname and is set for August 21 in Caldwell.
“Right now, that family, I can’t imagine. This is their worst nightmare. This is any parent’s worst nightmare. I can’t imagine trying to work and try to carry on with a normal life while your child is missing," Shurte said. "This right here helps the parents focus on trying to find the child and we are just trying to ease their day-to-day expenses.”
The event includes a motorcycle ride with stops in different locations. The event will start in Caldwell at Sportsman’s Hideout and end at Legend's in Weiser. There will be a dinner, music, and live & silent auction.
“We’re hoping this ride also brings awareness to Michael's plight, the plight of Michael's missing to continue the search for Michael and never let this die. We have to bring Michael home," Shurte said.
For more information on the event and registration for the ride, you can click here.
FRUITLAND POLICE ENTERS SECOND WEEK OF SEARCHING MISSING FIVE-YEAR-OLD BOY
Fruitland Police say they're investigating hundreds of tips and reviewing hours of security footage from the area in hopes of finding new leads.
Fruitland is an agricultural town, sandwiched between the Snake and Payette Rivers, and crisscrossed by irrigation ditches and canals. Police said it's made the search more difficult.
According to authorities, the recent efforts included looking through the french drain near Hidden Meadows Subdivision. Police ask residents to check their fence lines or any drainage near their property.
Anyone with information can also call the Payette County Sheriff’s Office, and if you wish to leave an anonymous tip, you can do so through Crime Stoppers of Southwest Idaho.