FRUITLAND — After seven days of searching for a missing 5-year-old from Fruitland, police say Michael “Monkey” Joseph Vaughan is still missing, having last been seen near his home a week ago Tuesday night.

Areas “not far from” Michael’s home is where law enforcement personnel from Fruitland and multiple other agencies, including the FBI, are concentrating their search efforts, according to the latest information from Fruitland Police Department in a news release on Tuesday night.

A news conference is planned for 2 p.m. this afternoon with further updates. As our next print edition is Friday, the newspaper will post updates as information is received at www.argusobserver.com.

“This is both an exhaustive search and an intense investigative effort, said Fruitland Police Chief JD Huff in the release. “The community support of our search efforts is appreciated and is making a difference as we remain committed to doing all we can to find Michael.”

Irrigation ditches as well as the Snake River have been searched, and Huff urges citizens to carefully search their property. This includes outbuildings, vehicles and irrigation ditches, or any other small places a small child could hide or get stuck in.

Huff has not responded to the newspaper’s request regarding whether kidnapping has been ruled out. He previously stated no Amber Alert was issued because enough information wasn’t known, including whether there was a suspect or suspect vehicle.

Michael was last seen in the area of SW 9th St. and South Arizona Avenue in Fruitland at about 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. on July 27. He was wearing a light blue Minecraft T-shirt, dark blue boxer briefs and child’s size 11, blue flip flops. He is 3-foot-7-inches tall, 50 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Police say Michael’s family continues to cooperate with search efforts, and Fruitland PD requests the family’s privacy be respected during this difficult time.

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