FRUITLAND, Idaho - A desperate search for a missing 5-year-old boy continued over the weekend in Idaho, nearly two weeks after the child disappeared from his neighborhood.
Michael Joseph Vaughan, who is nicknamed "Monkey," was last seen near his home in the city of Fruitland around 6:30 p.m. on July 27.
"We are all in, and we are committed to finding Michael," Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff said during a media briefing last week.
Since the 5-year-old’s disappearance, more than a dozen law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have scoured 3,000 acres of land in rural western Idaho, 29 miles of riverbank, drained canals and combed through dozens of files of security footage.
Agencies have used scent-tracking dogs, drones, helicopters, a dive team and paragliders in the search. A dive team with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office searched a pond near Vaughan’s home on Thursday but found no sign of the child, Huff said Thursday.
Despite the exhaustive search efforts, authorities still do not know what happened to the child.
While authorities have said that no possibility has been ruled out of the investigation, they have asked the public to refrain from spreading rumors and innuendo on social media, saying that it will only hinder the investigation.
Huff said that Vaughan’s family has been fully cooperative with investigators and asked the community to respect their privacy.
"I just want to thank the community and all of the agencies that have been continuously, tirelessly looking for him," Vaughan’s mother, Brandi Neal, said at a press briefing on July 31, KATU-TV reported. "We just want our ‘Monkey’ home."
Fruitland police announced that a web page providing credible resources on the investigation has been set up for the public so that it can stay informed on the search for Vaughan.
"Our goal is to find Michael and bring him home," Huff said. "If all you can do is send a prayer or good wishes, it’s helping keep us going. If you have information, please contact us."
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