FRUITLAND, Idaho — July 27 marks a year since Michael Vaughan, the now 6-year-old boy from Fruitland, went missing.
The last time Michael, also known as “Monkey,” was seen was between 6:40 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on July 27, 2021. Police are still looking for answers as to exactly what happened to the child, who disappeared from its neighborhood last July.
Several law enforcement agencies, including the Fruitland Police Department, Idaho State Police, and the FBI, are investigating Michael’s case.
Investigators have processed over 1,000 leads on this case, reviewing and clarifying each one. Fruitland Police Chief JD Huff said the investigation remains intense and strong.
He says this is a criminal investigation and much of the investigative effort cannot be released to the public at this time.
“People like to trade in absolute figures. Nothing about this case is absolute,” Huff said. “So we will continue to investigate all aspects and all possibilities in the case and as I have mentioned the family continues to be extremely cooperative and working on our investigation.”
Fruitland PD is still trying to locate the driver of a white 2016-2018 Honda pilot who left the area around the time Michael went missing.
“We believe it belongs to a resident, but we haven’t been able to establish that,” Huff said.
Police are also trying to speak to a man walking near a splash guard at Michael’s home. Huff says both the Honda pilot’s man and driver are not suspects but may have information related to the disappearance.
Police say the reward for information leading to Michael Vaughan’s safe return is more than $52,000.
Also See: Gov. Brad Little Signs Alert to Vulnerable and Missing Persons at Ceremony Event
When Michael went missing, a yellow alert was not issued because his cases did not qualify. In April, Gov. Brad Little signed the Vulnerable and Missing Persons Warning bill into law, briefly dubbing it the Monkey’s Law.
The EMPA aims to locate an endangered or missing person regardless of their age. It will create a unified approach by Idaho law enforcement to dealing with these types of cases and establish alert standards and criteria.