FRUITLAND — In an update to the community on Monday evening via its Facebook page, Fruitland Police Department said the search for a missing 5-year-old boy from Fruitland remains ongoing. As of Monday, it’s been 21 days since Michael “Monkey” Joseph Vaughan, 5, was last seen near his home.
As Michael’s image remains widely circulated in a variety of ways both locally and across the nation, Fruitland Police say they remain dedicated to finding him.
As of Monday, neary 290 tips have been received, and the effort to follow-up on tips is exhaustive, with a number having been cleared. Investigators are still reviewing all video footage, and Fruitland PD still has the assistance of investigative resources from the FBI, Idaho State Police and Boise Police Department.
“We thank those of you who took the time to thoughtfully share what information you have,” reads the update.
Investigators will be back in areas that have been concentrated on and may be knocking on doors and asking more questions. Those areas include Southwest 8th and 9th streets, as well as three subdivisions: Cornwall Way, Hidden Meadows and Three Rivers Way.
“We’re asking our friends [in those areas] to be patient with our investigative teams,” reads the post, adding that cooperation of citizens has been “impressive and extremely helpful.”
Police remain hopeful somebody holds the key to finding Michael.
“We still believe there may be someone who may know something and has not yet spoken with one of our investigators,” reads the update. “If this is you and you’ve been unsure, perhaps even afraid to contact us, please know we want to listen.”
The ground search will continue this week with Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue crews bringing a specially trained search and rescue canine. They will be concentrating on both sides downstream of the Snake River. Marine and drone operations will also continue as resources are available.
Police say Michael’s family remains fully cooperative, and they continue urging privacy for them during this most difficult time.
“We continue to ask local residents and businesses to remain vigilant and observant,” the update reads.
Police ask residents to continue searching their properties, walking fence lines and checking any drainage that might run through.
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.