FRUITLAND — Fruitland Police Department provided an update to the community on 5-year-old Michael ‘Monkey’ Joseph Vaughan on its Facebook page late Thursday afternoon. Michael has been missing since July 27, having last been seen near his neighborhood that evening.
Multiple agencies have continued to assist Fruitland PD in searching for Michael throughout the week. This includes Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue, Idaho State Police, the Payette Police Department and the FBI; however, the ground search has been scaled back, and resources are getting directed to specific areas as new information comes in.
“Recently, Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue and a specialized canine was deployed to a search area in Oregon on the Snake River and will remain available, as needed,” states the update, adding that marine patrols will continue in that area.
“Investigators from each agency bring, not only the highest level of training and expertise but true compassion and commitment to finding Michael,” reads the update.
Police express their appreciation for those who have shared credible leads, saying that tips have come from across the valley and the country.
“Our investigators continue to follow up and have spoken with people in multiple states as we work to find Michael,” it states.
Investigators this week are focused on details. This has included re-interviewing some people, “scrutinizing more pieces of video,” and asking more questions, according to the post.
‘Doing our best’ with updates
The agency states that while they understand people wanting updates everyday, that staff are “doing our best with regular, although perhaps not daily updates posted to this page.”
“Our public updates may not sound like ‘breaking news,’ but we hope they help members of our community understand our efforts continue,” reads the post.
According to the update, people have been asking Fruitland PD for details of the search or investigation, which will not be given out unless they believe it could help in the search.
“Again, our priority is to maintain the integrity of that search and to avoid releasing any information that could compromise or harm the search and any individual or set of individuals connected to it. If we have information that, if made public, could aid in the search, we will share it.”
Police ask community members to keep Michael in their prayers.
“We remain hopeful that we will be able to, at some point, provide answers and bring Michael home,” reads the update. “Until that day, we stand steadfast in our belief that we live and serve a caring and supportive community, that we’re surrounded by dedicated professionals lending their expertise to finding one small boy, and that those things combined will enable us to bring Michael home.”
For more information online, including a downloadable flyer or how to provide tips, including anonymous tips, visit https://bit.ly/HelpFindMichael.
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 or black boxer briefs with a green stripe and child’s size 11, blue flip flops.
He is 3-foot-7-inches tall, 50 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes.