ID MICHAEL VAUGHAN: Missing from Fruitland, ID - 27 July 2021 - Age 5

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Search continues for missing and endangered 5-year-old in Fruitland, Idaho​

Michael Vaughn was last seen near SW 9th Street and S. Arizona Ave. in Fruitland on Tuesday evening. Crews and neighbors were out all day looking for the boy.

The search for a missing 5-year-old-year-old boy intensified Wednesday as it entered its second day.

Michael Vaughn was last seen near SW 9th Street and S. Arizona Avenue in Fruitland around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Fruitland Police Department said Michael is considered missing and endangered.

Michael is about three feet, seven-inches tall and weighs 50 pounds. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. He answers to the nickname "Monkey."

Michael was wearing a light blue shirt with a Minecraft picture on it, dark blue boxer briefs and sandals.

Idaho Mountain Rescue brought in highly-trained and rescue personnel to assist in the search.

Crews from multiple agencies searched the area near Michael's home by ground and air by drone and helicopter. They also went door to door, talking with neighbors.

Right next to the boy's home is a field where crews spent much of the day searching for him.

Neighbors say they learned about his disappearance about an hour after he was reported missing. They say Michael is a happy kid who lives with his parents and grandfather.

Cynthia Walker was walking her dog as the search was happening.

"At five years old, I don't know that he would wander too far without one us seeing him by now," she said. "There are volunteers, many, many volunteers out searching, scanning the fields and we just want to have Michael back, we just want him home safe."

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MEDIA - MICHAEL VAUGHN: Missing from Fruitland, ID since 27 July 2021 - Age 5
 

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Community efforts to locate missing Fruitland boy continue​

The community of Fruitland continues to work together to locate the missing five-year-old boy, Michael Vaughan.

Michael was reported missing on July 27, 2021. For the past three months, Fruitland Police, state law enforcement officials and the community have tirelessly searched for him.

Community members plan to host a paint day to create more posters and billboards with Michael's picture to spread the word about his disappearance.

"I know most people couldn't imagine what this family is going through. It's been so devastating beyond words," Organizer Monique Sprong Petersen wrote through messages. "These billboards are to be a reminder to keep looking everywhere for him."

Per the last update by the Fruitland Police Department on Oct. 22, the agency, Idaho State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are continuing with the search and investigating every tip that comes in. At last check, the total number of tips they've received through the tip lines is 530.

Fruitland PD needs the public’s assistance with the identification of the driver of a 2016-2020 model year, white Honda Pilot that was seen leaving the area on SW 8th St. around 6:47 p.m on July 27.
 

It has been three months since five-year-old Michael Joseph Vaughan disappeared from his Fruitland home, and despite a reward fund of nearly $50,000 there have been very few leads in the case. As a means of helping prevent disappearances such as this, one child safety advocate has offered a solution which may build on existing systems in Payette County.

Lisa Marie of Eagle approached the Fruitland City Council during its regular meeting Monday with a concept she aims to launch nationwide. The concept is a Mandatory Alert for Missing Children program, to be used to notify the public any time a a child goes missing, regardless the circumstance.
 
Fruitland community not giving up hope after search for boy reaches more than 100 days
It's been 105 days since Michael Vaughan went missing.

But the community is not giving up hope the 5-year-old will come home safe and sound.

"We're just not going to give up, he will come home, he will come home," TC Rau, of Fruitland told CBS2. "And that's what we're praying for...for his mom and dad and the family. And our community -- we want him home, too."

Local, state and federal authorities have conducted numerous searches and followed up on hundreds of leads for the little boy. There's a $40,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Michael.
 

Police: Increased probability missing Fruitland boy was abducted​

Fruitland Police held a press conference Thursday to provide updates in the case of 5-year-old Michael Vaughan, who they believe was abducted after exhausting all ground search efforts.


According to Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff, the search for Vaughan will not stop until the boy is found.

“The effort may look different from time to time, but those in law enforcement know he is the top priority,” Huff said.

There is an increased probability that Vaughan was abducted, Huff said, due to no headway being made in ground searches.
 

'I would like to see this case get more national attention': National agencies continue to aid in search of Michael Vaughan​

After more than four months of searches and sharing his face and name, the question still remains: Where is five-year-old Michael Vaughan?

"It's surprising to me this case hasn't gotten more national attention," said Angeline Hartmann, the director of communications for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Even with a higher likelihood Michael has been abducted and still missing four months later, NCMEC wants to tell the Fruitland community and others involved to not give up hope.

"We always want to remind people that it's important to stay vigilant in these types of cases because more time goes on the less and less attention a case like this gets," Hartmann said.


Hartmann believes law enforcement agencies involved in the case are doing a good job providing details of what they can share and encouraging anyone who may have any information to reach out. But Hartmann said that is not enough. She would like to see more national media bring their attention to this case.

"If this child was indeed abducted who knows where that child is now," Hartmann said. "The child may be nowhere near Fruitland. It's important that everyone is looking for Michael, no matter where they live."
 

Michael Vaughan’s mother pleads: Don't let his case go cold...​

It’s been more than four months since 5-year-old Michael Vaughan went missing in Fruitland on July 27 and his mother is adamant she does not want his case to go cold – she wants him home.

Brandi Neal, Michael’s mother, sat on her couch in her home in Fruitland on Thursday, where she played with her 2-year-old daughter Arya’s hair. A blanket with Michael’s face printed on it rested on the couch beside her.

Neal, surrounded by pictures of Michael and her family, stressed her son’s face should not fade from the public eye.

“I don’t feel like he is getting the attention he deserves,” Neal told the Idaho Press. “I don’t want his case to go cold. I want him home. I want every single person in this world to see his beautiful face and know exactly where he belongs.”



The day Michael disappeared, Neal said, he didn’t want her to go to work — which is something that sticks with her.

Michael had been in the family’s living room playing a game on his Nintendo the day he vanished. Neal said at 6:40 p.m. Michael’s father, Tyler Vaughan, went to check on Arya in her bedroom and order a pizza for 15-20 minutes. When he came back, Michael was gone.

Neal said her husband frantically called her at work to tell her he couldn’t find Michael. Neal sped home, she said, where she was met with police cars and neighbors standing outside their houses.

“It was all just a big blur,” Neal said. She sped back and forth down the neighborhood streets, asking if people had seen Michael while Tyler spoke to law enforcement.

“I’m just screaming that he didn’t wander off, there’s no way in hell,” Neal said.

Neal said neighbors witnessed Michael knocking on doors in the moments before he disappeared. She can’t explain why, but said he is a friendly child.

The community came out to look for Michael that night, Neal said. Residents lined the streets, and police were in farm fields next to her residence, relentlessly combing the area.

K-9 dogs searched the area as well, according to Neal, where they were able to track Michael’s scent — it led to the end of their street, away from the farm field to the right of the house, and stopped abruptly.

Neal assumes Michael had gone out the side garage door which leads to the front yard, and wandered from there.

“For him to be seen by neighbors outside of their home, he went out the garage to the front,” she told the Idaho Press in a separate phone interview.



Jennifer Coffindaffer, a retired FBI agent who consulted the media during the bureau’s widely publicized investigation into the death of Gabby Petito, told the Idaho Press in a phone interview that she believes Michael is of the very small percentage of kids who are subject to stranger abductions, which according to Coffindaffer is about 4%.

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He hasn't nearly gotten the attention Summer Wells has and this is a stranger abduction.
I think a lot to do with cases getting attention or not is the drama involved with them. His parents seem so low key and hers are "out there" so the media gravitates to the drama cases so then more people know about those and keep the drama going. A viscous cycle that the media wins in.
 
I think a lot to do with cases getting attention or not is the drama involved with them. His parents seem so low key and hers are "out there" so the media gravitates to the drama cases so then more people know about those and keep the drama going. A viscous cycle that the media wins in.
I see your point. But all should get the same attention. Especially stranger abduction cases.
 
I see your point. But all should get the same attention. Especially stranger abduction cases.
to me, that is 100% the media's fault. I think they should all be required to run a certain amount of ads on this, not including the ones they are already covering on a daily basis, along with local crime info that didn't make it into the regular coverage.
 
to me, that is 100% the media's fault. I think they should all be required to run a certain amount of ads on this, not including the ones they are already covering on a daily basis, along with local crime info that didn't make it into the regular coverage.
Exactly this. His family isn't making a spectacle of themselves so they aren't interested.
His family doesn't have previous domestic violence incidents, drug arrests, past missing persons, strange stories, etc.
Law enforcement hasn't released much of anything other than a timeline, and even that was hard to come by at first.
Media is hands-off. And it's really unfortunate because this is (IMO) 100% a non-family abduction and an AMBER Alert should have been issued. But people don't know Michael's face or story.
 

Where is Michael Vaughan? Mother of missing Fruitland boy urges people to share his story​

It has been nearly five months since five-year-old Michael Vaughan was reported missing from his family's neighborhood in Fruitland.

Since the search began on July 27, law enforcement agencies have checked out hundreds of tips, conducted numerous searches and investigated several areas where he could be. Meanwhile, his family and the community around them ask for his safe return home.

"We always put the Christmas tree up as a family and decorate it together. It's always something we do," said Brandi Neal, Michael's mother. "Talking with the older kids a day before yesterday, we weren't going to put it up this year."

Generosity is something Neal and her family have seen a lot of in the past few months. Fruitland High School students donated a Christmas tree earlier this week, decorated with ornaments -- another act of kindness from a community shaken by the disappearance of the young boy.

"This was a blessing," Neal said as she smiled and stared at the tree standing in her living room.

A blessing, but what she is really looking for is a clue to what happened to her blue-eyed, blonde-haired son.

"I don't even know how to explain how you do it every day and how you keep going, but you can't give up. You have to try," Neal said.


"The feeling was he may have wandered, but I didn't believe that. I didn't believe that," Neal said, then added that she believes her son was abducted.

Not a second goes by Neal does not think about Michael, who also goes by the nickname, "Monkey." Even in those few moments she's enjoying time with her family or watching her older kids' activities at school, she said she feels some guilt.

"There were some jokes made and I got very emotional," she said.

Neal described a recent memory with her family: "My beautiful daughter [said], 'Momma, it's OK not to live in sadness all the time.' She's right."

"She said, 'It's not that you're not thinking about him and we're not thinking about him, but we got to try, Momma.'"

While Neal tries to live in the present more, her desire to find Michael stays just as strong. She continues to ask everyone to share Michael's story in the hopes someone will come forward to the information to where her son maybe.

 
It’s remarkable to me how similar this case is to the Well’s case!
Indeed, the only difference I see is that Michael’s abduction appears opportunistic, while Summer’s appears planned.
I'm not so sure of that in either case although I see where it appears that way. I think in Summer's case it may be the coverup that was planned. In Michael's case, I am bothered by a few things just in the sense that I have some questions that LE and the family have not provided answers on.

Both cases have little being shared is I think the reason I really haven't concluded anything. It appears LE has absolutely nothing to go on with regard to either child but it is very likely the opposite may be true.

What do you think happened in either? I haven't ruled in or out either or both of the parents in Summer's case although I do not believe it was a stranger abduction. That's just my opinion.

In Michael's, I'd like to know why he was out knocking on doors if that was true? And I have other questions as well that I'm sure LE has the answers to.

I am hoping in both cases they have leads and a good idea possibly on what happened and by whom but the whereabouts of either child is another story and whether they will ever be found.

Michael's mother is trying to get more attention on his case and feels it hasn't gotten the national attention that some others have from what I saw a week or so ago.
 
Michael's mom talks a bit more specifically about the timeline, etc. in the video in post 134 above. Recommended watching if you haven't.

Michael's case is pretty obviously, IMO, an abduction. He was seen by several different neighbors within minutes of his dad looking for him.


JULY 27, 2021

6:15 pm -
Man with dark hair and facial hair, wearing dark shorts, seen jogging on sidewalk of SW 8th St.
Man with dark hair, wearing white t-shirt and black shorts, ween walking off SW 8th St. past splash pads, toward drainage area behind neighborhood. (STILL UNIDENTIFIED)

6:40 pm - Michael in living room playing Nintendo. Dad goes to check on baby in her bedroom, change diaper, and order a pizza. Takes 15-20 minutes. When he returns, Michael is gone.

Neighbors reported witnessing Michael around the neighborhood just prior to his disappearance.

6:47 pm - 2016-2020 white Honda Pilot seen leaving area of SW 8th St. (STILL UNIDENTIFIED VEHICLE)
2010-2011 blue Dodge Avenger in same area of Honda Pilot, turns onto S. Whitley Dr.

7:04 pm - Dad calls mom at work. Mom leaves work immediately. When she arrives home, LE and neighbors are already outside searching.

7:30 pm (approx.) - Official ground search begins, along with drones and helicopter. Search & rescue arrives shortly after with K-9 unit. Michael's scent apparently traced to the end of their street, away from the field to the right of their home, where it abruptly stopped.

8:18 pm - CodeRED alert issued to Hidden Meadow Subdivision.

9:40 pm - CodeRED alert expanded to entire county.

SOURCES:
Fruitland Police say new tip could be 'very helpful' in search for missing 5-year-old boy
 
Yes, the timeline is pretty tight on this one. I am wondering more what might have caused him to go outside or to neighbors, etc. In my experience, a kid playing Nintendo is pretty hard usually to drag away from it. It isn't that it would solve it so much as I wonder if someone called, came to the door, was he looking for a sibling or a friend...? Clearly he left home and then disappeared quite quickly. I guess I have to wonder if neighborhood people are all ruled out and for certain. Did anyone refuse entry into their home? I would also I guess wonder if it was usual for him to go outside without supervision? That's not criticism, perhaps it was okay in their neighborhood and he did so at times. I'm looking for if anything was different that day with these general questions. Was dad in a very different part of the house where he may not have seen or heard something that maybe drew Michael outside? That kind of thing.
 
I'm not so sure of that in either case although I see where it appears that way. I think in Summer's case it may be the coverup that was planned. In Michael's case, I am bothered by a few things just in the sense that I have some questions that LE and the family have not provided answers on.

Both cases have little being shared is I think the reason I really haven't concluded anything. It appears LE has absolutely nothing to go on with regard to either child but it is very likely the opposite may be true.

What do you think happened in either? I haven't ruled in or out either or both of the parents in Summer's case although I do not believe it was a stranger abduction. That's just my opinion.

In Michael's, I'd like to know why he was out knocking on doors if that was true? And I have other questions as well that I'm sure LE has the answers to.

I am hoping in both cases they have leads and a good idea possibly on what happened and by whom but the whereabouts of either child is another story and whether they will ever be found.

Michael's mother is trying to get more attention on his case and feels it hasn't gotten the national attention that some others have from what I saw a week or so ago.
Well, in Michael’s case, I think he either knocked on the wrong door or he was spotted him outdoors.
In Summer’s case- given the remote location, I think it’s likely the perp knew she was there, however, info about drug dealing/using on their dead-end street causes me to consider the possibility that her abduction may have been opportunistic, also.
 
Well, in Michael’s case, I think he either knocked on the wrong door or he was spotted him outdoors.
In Summer’s case- given the remote location, I think it’s likely the perp knew she was there, however, info about drug dealing/using on their dead-end street causes me to consider the possibility that her abduction may have been opportunistic, also.
In Michael's case, I agree, these seem like the only likely conclusions or a variation on one of those two, like someone drew him out or to their house somehow,

With Summer, I agree an abduction is possible but I feel it unlikely. There were just so many people home if we have the true story... Home and awake no less. It would be a very bold move and in such a remote location as you say.
 

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