Police chief renews plea for public's help

Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff speaks at a press conference regarding missing 5-year-old Michael "Monkey" Joseph Vaughn Saturday afternoon, with members of Michael's family present, including his parents. Huff renewed his call for members of the public to be thorough in searching their properties and reviewing security footage they may have which may yield leads.

FRUITLAND — Fruitland Police Department will only release new information or comments regarding the case of a missing 5-year-old "all at once" to media throughout the region. That was the response this morning from an official at his office when the newspaper reached out to find out an update on the search efforts for Michael "Monkey" Joseph Vaughan, who has been missing since July 27.

The last update provide by the department was on Saturday afternoon, which included information about the Snake River being searched. 

At a press conference at Fruitland City Hall on Saturday afternoon, Police Chief J.D. Huff asked the public for their continued help in the search for Michael. Members of Michael's family, including his mother and father, were present during the conference.

Huff said the search for Michael continues near his home, with the Fruitland Public Works department draining two irrigation runoff ditches to assist investigators using K-9 units and aerial drones to survey the area.

"Idaho Fish & Game officers are continuing to search the river by boat four-to-five miles downriver and back up, and in the slews of the Snake River as well," said Huff. "The Fruitland Police Department will continue to organize search and rescue operations with resources provided by the Idaho Mountain Search & Rescue team, the Fruitland Fire Department and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children."

Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are involved in the search, as well.

Huff added that his department will continue to call on residents as needed to contribute further to the search. In the meantime, he expressed gratitude to residents for their support, and for them to be as thorough as possible in searching their homes for Michael, as well as identifying individuals who may have been near Michael's home Tuesday evening.

"If you live in the immediate area, please thoroughly search your property, to include any outbuildings, vehicles, anything that a five-year-old can get into," Huff added."We also ask that you review any security footage you may have that may be attached to your house."

Huff declined to comment on leads received in the search, citing the ongoing investigation in Michael's disappearance. He asked that the family's privacy be respected during this time.

Michael has been missing since Tuesday evening. Individuals with information which may help find him are urged to call the Payette County Sheriff's office at (208) 642-6006, extension 0.

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