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  • Sarah Turney

Michael Vaughan

Updated: Jul 26

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Michael Vaughan was only 5 years old when he went missing from his neighborhood in Fruitland, Idaho on July 27, 2021. After months of intense searches, scrutiny over whether an Amber Alert should have been issued, and even SB 1378, new legislation sparked by the case, what happened to Michael remains a mystery.


Although The Fruitland Police Department initially believed Michael likely just wandered away from his home, they now believe he was most likely abducted. No suspects have been named and Chief JD Huff with the Fruitland PD has been clear that his parents, Brandi Neal and Tyler Vaughan have been cooperative in the investigation.


But just days before this episode aired, the Fruitland PD announced that they do have several persons of interest in the case and are now on the lookout for a very specific potential witness. They also make it clear that unfortunately, not everyone has been cooperative in the investigation into what happened to Michael Vaughan.


Michael was last seen wearing a light blue Minecraft T-shirt, dark blue boxer briefs and size 11 flip-flops. He is a white male with blonde hair and blue eyes. When he went missing, he was 3 feet 6 inches tall and weighed about 50 pounds. Michael also responds to the nickname "Monkey."


As of recording this episode, the reward to information leading to Michael’s recovery has reached nearly $53,000.


Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Fruitland Police dispatch at 208-642-6006 or to email findmichael@fruitland.org.


Resources:

CampaignZero. “We Obtained Data on 83 Idaho Police Departments.” Police Scorecard: Fruitland, ID, https://policescorecard.org/id/police-department/fruitland.



“City of Fruitland Police.” Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CityOfFruitlandPolice/.



City of Fruitland. Find Michael Vaughan - City of Fruitland Idaho, https://www.fruitland.org/index.asp?SEC=10B2C17A-DB5A-4256-8B6D-F589F7133F2D&fbclid=IwAR2BphJ0uErTnZmzaFYswiO7UHLMI6jI1iG5nYTaE92tW7wYBI9Mx3-XKaA.



“CodeRED.” Community Notification Enrollment, https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BF6C5A0F9EF6.



Coffindaffer, Jennifer. Twitter, 10 Jan. 2022, https://twitter.com/CoffindafferFBI/status/1480373192208302085.



Coffindaffer, Jennifer. Twitter, Twitter, 30 Nov. 2021, https://twitter.com/CoffindafferFBI/status/1465670653772804099.



Duggan, Alexandra. “Idaho House Passes Missing Person Alert Bill with No Debate.” Ktvb.com, KTVB, 23 Mar. 2022, https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/idaho-press/idaho-house-pass-missing-person-alert-bill-no-debate/277-543252ad-e734-41c7-aba5-d144bcac72ea.



Duggan, Alexandra. “Michael Vaughan's Mother Pleads - Don't Let His Case Go Cold.” Ktvb.com, 5 Dec. 2021, https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/crime/michael-vaughans-mother-pleads-dont-let-his-case-go-cold/277-60d3c917-9c73-468a-9c91-28dbe5673104.



The Idaho State AMBER Alert Advisory and Review Committee, 2020, Idaho Statewide AMBER Alert Plan, https://isp.idaho.gov/bci/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2021/12/Idaho-Statewide-AMBER-Alert-Plan-v2.15-2.pdf.



ktvb7. “Missing Fruitland Boy Michael Vaughan: Briefing at 10 A.M.” YouTube, KTVB7, 22 July 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWHa5UR9Z24.



ktvb7. “Watch Live at 2 P.m. MT: Fruitland Police Hold Press Conference to Update Search for Missing Boy.” YouTube, YouTube, 4 Aug. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXRiFRnfFTw.



Lewis, Tristan. “Bill Inspired by Missing Fruitland Boy Headed to Governor's Desk.” Ktvb.com, 23 Mar. 2022, https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/michael-vaughan/bill-inspired-missing-fruitland-boy-headed-governors-desk/277-ccfc0dfa-7fbe-4f85-b100-4ef33bb1dc78.



Lewis, Tristan. “'We Love You Monkey': Community Honors Missing Fruitland Boy for His Sixth Birthday.” Ktvb.com, 25 June 2022, https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/michael-vaughan/we-love-you-monkey-sixth-birthday-missing-fruitland-boy-michael-vaughan/277-14f66f85-d26b-49ea-a09b-2c83fc02a7ae.



Lewis, Tristan. “Why an AMBER Alert Wasn't Issued for Missing Fruitland Boy.” Ktvb.com, 29 July 2021, https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/why-amber-alert-wasnt-issued-missing-fruitland-boy/277-ba255a4a-1522-437f-ac65-2f95a4495ac5.



Martin, Markie, and Tom Palmer. “Mother of Missing Idaho Boy, 5, Desperate for His Return.” NewsNation, 9 Dec. 2021, https://www.newsnationnow.com/missing/mother-of-missing-idaho-boy-5-desperate-for-his-return/.



“Michael Joseph Vaughan, Male, White / Caucasian.” NamUs.gov, https://www.namus.gov/MissingPersons/Case#/82767.



“Michael Vaughan Fruitland Community Missing Child Search.” Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/524528525272698/.



Miller, Kevin. “Why after 6 Months Idaho Has Not Forgotten Michael Vaughan.” KIDO Talk Radio, 27 Jan. 2022, https://kidotalkradio.com/why-after-6-months-idaho-has-not-forgotten-michael-vaughan/.



“Prepared Comments from Fruitland Chief of Police JD Huff, Presented at a Press Briefing 2:00pm, Wednesday, August 4, 2021.” Fruitland.org, 4 Aug. 2021, https://www.fruitland.org/vertical/Sites/%7B0D05ADA3-D512-48E7-8B13-DA20B51EAD7F%7D/uploads/Chief_Huff_Press_Briefing_Comments_08-04-2021.pdf.



Sorace, Stephen. “Search Continues for Missing Idaho Boy, 5, Who Disappeared near Home Nearly 2 Weeks Ago.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 8 Aug. 2021, https://www.foxnews.com/us/missing-idaho-boy-search.



Staff. “Fruitland PD Chief on Michael Vaughan Case: Some People Have Been Uncooperative.” KBOI, 22 July 2022, https://idahonews.com/news/local/fruitland-police-hold-press-conference-on-michael-vaughan.



Staff. “Fruitland Police Provide Update on the Search for Michael Vaughan.” Ktvb.com, 24 Mar. 2022, https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/michael-vaughan/fruitland-police-provides-update-michael-vaughan/277-da39e1c6-b7b7-4e48-b8be-3bf401dfe0a3.



Staff. “Search Continues for Missing and Endangered 5-Year-Old in Fruitland, Idaho.” Ktvb.com, 28 July 2021, https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/officials-searching-for-missing-endangered-5-year-old-in-fruitland-idaho/277-90ce1248-d9a3-44e5-92c0-3025c2f1de73.



Tariq, Haadiya. “Police Provide One-Year Update on Missing Child Michael Vaughan.” Idaho State Journal, 23 July 2022, https://www.idahostatejournal.com/freeaccess/police-provide-one-year-update-on-missing-child-michael-vaughan/article_cde6c177-f8fe-5df3-a946-8df35bacef44.html.



Thompson, Leslie. “5-Year-Old Michael Vaughan Has Been Missing for 8 Months.” Argus Observer | Ontario, OR, 27 Mar. 2022, https://www.argusobserver.com/news/5-year-old-michael-vaughan-has-been-missing-for-8-months/article_9a23db84-ac8d-11ec-9cc8-172906f95c51.html.



Valenzuela, Ryan. “5-Year-Old Michael ‘Monkey’ Vaughan Inspires Idaho Endangered Missing Person Bill.” Mix 106, 3 May 2022, https://mix106radio.com/idaho-endangered-missing-person-bill-signed-in-honor-of-5-year-old-michael-vaughan/.



Wermus, Katie. “Police Now Say 5-Year-Old Michael Vaughn, Missing since July, Likely Kidnapped near Home.” Newsweek, 19 Nov. 2021, https://www.newsweek.com/police-now-say-5-year-old-michael-vaughn-missing-since-july-likely-kidnapped-near-home-1651433.



“‘We Love You Monkey’ Sixth Birthday of Missing Fruitland Boy Michael Vaughan.” YouTube, ktvb7, 24 June 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2Q0eRqsmpU.




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