FRUITLAND — A month has passed since five-year-old Michael Joseph “Monkey” Vaughan was last seen near his home on July 27. Since then, the Fruitland Police Department has investigated more than 330 tips received in its search for the missing boy, including one which was investigated with the help of law enforcement officers thousands of miles away.
To date, police still have no answers as to what happened to Michael. However, in a post to the department’s Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, Chief J.D. Huff reminds the public that his team remain committed to finding him.
“Investigators continue to follow these tips, and to generate other possible leads,” wrote Huff. “We recently had law enforcement partners 2,100 miles away conduct a search on a tip we received through our Find Michael Tipline. They were able to track down those involved and the tip was cleared. We are responding to all credible tips and we remain dedicated and hopeful.”
Huff shared his sympathy for Michael’s family as the search continues.
“Our hearts are with Michael’s family. None of us have walked in their shoes. We only know this is a most difficult time, yet they continue to be cooperative and understanding.”
Included in the post is a statement from Michael’s family, expressing gratitude to all who have assisted in the search.
It reads, in part, “Our Family is broken right now. Monkey’s sisters are missing there partner in crime, and his brother won’t play Minecraft until Michael comes home. Monkey, your Mommy and Daddy miss you more than anything in this world. We need you home to be whole. We are so grateful for every single persons’ prayers, kind words, sharing his picture and any little step to help bring Michael home.”
According to Huff, ground searches continue with specialized teams and resources on standby and efforts will be targeted and tailored to conditions. Huff expressed that as his teams continue their search, he remains grateful for any further help received from the public.
“When we have information that, if made public, can help us find Michael, we will share it. Being hopeful is being helpful, and we ask that all those who remain on the search for Michael remain in your prayers. As the days pass, the search may move into new phases, but our investigators will scrutinize every detail, pour over every tip, and keep the search for Michael a priority.”