Michael Vaughan still missing 1 year later

Michael Joseph Vaughan.png
Posted at 4:55 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 18:55:47-04

FRUITLAND, Idaho — July 27 marks one year since Michael Vaughan, the now 6-year-old boy from Fruitland, went missing.

The last time Michael, also known as “Monkey” was seen was between 6:40-7 p.m. on July 27, 2021. Police are still looking for answers on what exactly happened to the child who vanished from his neighborhood last July.

Multiple law enforcement agencies, including Fruitland police, Idaho State Police and the FBI are all looking into Michael's case.

Investigators have processed over 1,000 leads on this case, reviewing and clearing each one. Fruitland Police Chief JD Huff said the investigation remains intense and strong.

He says this is a criminal investigation and a majority of the investigative efforts cannot be released to the public at this time.

“People like to deal in absolutes. There is nothing about this case that is absolute,” Huff said. “So we will continue to investigate all aspects and all avenues in the case and as I mentioned before, the family continues to be extremely cooperative and working with our investigation.”

Fruitland PD is still trying to find the driver of a 2016-2018 white Honda Pilot that was leaving the area around the time Michael went missing.

"We believe it belongs to a resident, but we haven't been able to clear that,” Huff said.

Police also looking to speak with a man walking near a splash pad by Michael's home. Huff says both the man and driver of the Honda Pilot are not suspects but could have information related to the disappearance.

Police say the reward for information leading to Michael Vaughan's safe return in over $52,000.

Related: Gov. Brad Little signs 'Endangered and Missing Person Alert' at ceremonial event

When Michael went missing — an Amber Alert was not issued because his cases didn’t meet the qualifications. In April, Gov. Brad Little signed the Endangered and Missing Person’s Alert bill into law, calling it “Monkey’s law” for short.

EMPA is designed to locate an endangered or missing person regardless of their age. It will create a unified approach by Idaho law enforcement on how to handle these types of cases, and set alert standards and criteria.